Activation Ceremony Held For 114th Fighter Wing

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – More than 100 members of South Dakota Air National Guard’s 114th Fighter Wing will be deployed to 9 different locations around the world in the next couple of months.

So to honor and recognize the sacrifice the airmen and women are about to take, a ceremony was held Sunday afternoon at Joe Foss Field.

“There’s a lot more people than I expected to be here so that’s kind of a different feeling,” says Staff Sergeant Christine Houska.

From the front of the room, to the back, hundreds took part in Sunday’s activation ceremony.

“This is my first deployment in 14 years so I’m excited,” says Technical Sergeant Abbey Rotter.

While this will be Abbey’s first time working across the county for 6 months, she’s no stranger to deployment.

“We’re just a military family and that’s the way we are, we’re proud to do it,” says Abbey’s husband, Brendan.

Brendan served in Iraq in 2008.

While the two are about to swap roles, they both agree the spouse that stays home with their three children has the tougher job.

“You’re at home alone with kids and the spouse that you’ve always kind of relied on isn’t there,” says Brendan. “You just have to do your best and do what’s right for the family.”

Brendan says aside from getting his kids to daycare, doing laundry and helping with homework, there’s one task he knows he’s going to have some trouble with.

“Cooking. I’m not much of a cook.”

But he says he’s glad to take on this new role while his wife is away.

“We support her 100 percent and just wish her the best, and when she gets back we’ll all be reunited again,” says Brendan.

And Brendan isn’t the only family member who will be staying in the states.

Next to every person in uniform was either a child or a loved one clinging on tight to their airmen and women before they take flight.

While deployed, the airmen and women will support several different operations throughout U.S. Central Command and U.S. Africa Command.

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