Airman’s spirits high in Iraq | SteamboatToday.com

Airman’s spirits high in Iraq

Routt County resident says she's enjoying the experience

Blythe Terrell

Airman 1st Class Rebekah LaDue said her experience in Iraq has been valuable.

LaDue, who has family in the Hayden area, has been in Iraq since August. She manages an airfield at Joint Base Balad. That keeps her busy, LaDue said.

“We monitor everything that happens on the airfield, so any kind of aircraft movement : anyone that comes and goes,” she said.

Capt. Lindsey Hahn, an Air Force spokeswoman stationed with LaDue, said the Balad base was the busiest runway in the U.S. Defense Department.

“So it’s a big job,” Hahn said.

LaDue said that people around her were positive.

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“I think it’s been a great experience,” she said. “I really enjoyed myself out here.”

LaDue has been in the Air Force for about two years. Her family is from Washington state, and she lived in Steamboat Springs for a year before deploying. Her mother, Cindy LaDue, owns the new RedClay shop in Hayden.

Rebekah LaDue is serving her first Iraq tour, and she is scheduled to leave the country in January.

LaDue and Hahn said they miss the snow of Colorado.

“It’s like a mission out here, and we’re busy out here,” Hahn said, “so we definitely have a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.”

Another Routt County resident, Hayden Police Chief Ray Birch, has sent back word from Iraq. He reported last month that he was doing well and has requested school supplies for Iraqi children.

People interested in donating are asked to deliver items by Dec. 31 for January shipping.