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Posted 3/21/2014

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By Narissia Skinner
Family Readiness Coordinator

March is observed as Women’s History Month. In recognizing this, we know that women have served many roles throughout history. Women’s roles have expanded far beyond the interior space of a home to other countries abroad. To the common titles of wife, mother, daughter, and career professional, add deployed personnel to Cathy Dag’s repertoire. Dag is often asked why she deploys. It may be difficult for some to understand her reason, but for Dag it’s a feeling of "I gotta do it." The financial stability is rewarding for both her and her son’s future, but that’s not why she serves. She made the conscious choice to deploy because she wants to be able to help those that are doing the jobs in Afghanistan that will make the country safe and peaceful for the Afghans.

Her job does not require her to go outside the wire, therefore, she does not have firsthand knowledge of exactly what it’s like or what goes on outside. Dag schedules the movements for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers personnel that must go out and do the daunting task of rebuilding the country. She coordinates the movement of people in and out of the country as well as throughout the region. Since her arrival, things have been seamless, and everyone has made movement as they so desire or as their travel orders dictate. She stays extremely busy working long hours, which is beneficial because it lessens the time for her to get bored or to miss home. Dag is one of four admin support specialists who support more than USACE 200 employees working throughout the region to ensure that they are exactly where they should be when they should be.

Dag has served on a few deployment assignments. On each of her assignments, she has enjoyed working with the people that she has been surrounded by. Unlike in normal everyday life where you work for eight hours and then go your separate ways, in Afghanistan, everyone does everything together; work, eat, sleep, share holidays, and even play in the snow together. Being deployed has gained Dag lasting friendships across the globe. 

Being a wife, mother and daughter, deployment was very difficult at first. Dag admits that she cried for two days straight. But once she gathered herself and began to focus on her purpose and her reason for being there, things became easy. The friends that she gained since her arrival have been a great solace for her. An added bonus is the fact that she gets to see her baby everyday online. Every time she sees her son, he’s learned something new. It makes her feel as if she’s home right there with them, which makes her that much happier. Her son loves to dance, so every night Dag plays music before they end their conversation, and he and she will dance until he’s tired. 

Some people count down the days, but Dag prefers to count the months because "12 sounds so much better than 365." Not only for Women’s History month, but for all 12 months that Dag likes to focus on, we honor and salute her and her service and dedication to her family, her country, USACE, and the mission abroad.

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