Military member returns home to family at Boise Airport

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jeremy L. Mosier
  • 366 Fighter Wing Public Affairs
One of the best gifts for deployed Gunfighters this winter is a little ‘taste of home.’

“For people down range during the holidays they have to make the most out of it and care packages do help,” Senior Airman Nicoli Martin Leuterio said. “During the holidays I know a lot of people wish they were home instead of in the desert and the taste of home makes all the difference.”

Leuterio, 366th Logistics Readiness Squadron material management journeyman, recently returned from his deployment to Southwest Asia.

“At first it was just overwhelming when my supervisor said, ‘this is what we are going to have to do to get this place in order,’” he explained. “First few weeks, no sleep. That was just my body I guess adjusting to the stress of the workload, the environment and time zone, then after that it was just routine.”

On top of transitioning to the new work load, communication with his family proved itself to be difficult due to limited internet.

Christine Leuterio explained, that it was harder than she expected, especially seeing their infant son talk to his dad on video chat and begin asking for his dad.

He said, while deployed he had to take on other jobs other than the one he was most proficient at. Leuterio was moved from the parts store to the flight service center, which provides Airmen a quicker avenue to the supply section within LRS.

“We had to learn on the go,” he said. “At first it was a little hard. We were on 12-hour shifts for about two or three weeks just trying to get up to speed, because it was necessary for us to learn the basics.”

Even though it took him time to get sped up on operations at the deployed location, stateside exercises helped prepare him in phases.

“In my section for exercises there were similarities you can understand the simulation of these phases, phase one and phase two, prepare everybody for the real thing,” he said. “For first timers like me, it seemed to help you get the idea of, ‘oh we did this in the exercise and you know how this will flow.’”

Through hard work and motivation Leuterio began to excel in his new role.

“Senior Airman Leuterio does an outstanding job at home station and understands the importance of being ready to support the warfighter at any time,” said Lt. Col. Lee Holfert, 366th LRS commander. “The LRS community ensures training is a top priority through career development courses and on the job training to ensure the member is equipped to perform any aspect of their job that is required down range.”

While downrange he was given the opportunity to attend the Marine equivalent to the Air Force’s Airman Leadership School, the Corporals Course.

“They emphasized PT and leadership,” Leuterio explained. “We met up every day at 4 a.m. to do an hour and a half of workouts.”

He pushed through the grueling physical training of the course, but still had to take on one constant, being separated from his family.

Having a one-year-old child and spouse at home, he had to look for the little things to get to the end goal.

“There’s no feeling in the world that compares to seeing your family in the arrival area of the airport,” he said. “That makes the six months worthwhile.”