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Simmon served 8 years in Air Force administrative role

Submitted photo Elkins resident Jennifer Simmons spent eight years serving the country in the United States Air Force.

ELKINS — Elkins resident Jennifer Simmons spent eight years serving the country, along with other members of her family, in the United States Air Force in an administrative role at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico.

She enlisted in the military in 1993 and went to basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.

“Basic training went by quick,” she said. “We never knew if it was day or night. It was quite an experience.”

Simmons said the biggest adjustment she had to make in basic training was getting used to be given orders.

“Being told what to do and having to have your bed made the right way was new for me,” she said. “It was fun too, but when it was time to get serious we got serious.”

She said aside from the more physical aspects of basic training, the educational portion was also difficult. She said she had to take several classes, learn laws and was tested.

“If you flunked out, you had to start again,” she said.

Simmons said after basic training she attended a technical school at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi. She said it was a unique experience being on the Gulf of Mexico, and that she had a lot of fun while attending the classes.

“I was a secretary, I knew when I was going in that I was going into administration,” she said. “I was only there for four weeks, I remember having fun more than technical school.”

Simmons said one of the things that made her experience in the military special was serving with her husband at the time and her mother at the same base at the same time. Before joining the military, Simmons moved to New Mexico to get to know her biological mother.

“We became the best of friends,” she said.

While in New Mexico she met her future husband, who was serving at Holloman Air Force Base, the same base where she would eventually work.

“I was living there before I went into the military,” she said. “I met my son’s dad and we got married and five days later I was in basic training. My mom was also there, I got to serve with my mom.”

She said although they were all in the same base they did not work in the same squadrons. Simmons served in administration for one of the officers at the base.

“I served there for eight years,” she said. “I am extremely proud to be a veteran. If you are not a veteran, I don’t think you realize how important our country is.”

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