Senior Airman returns home to Tamaqua from Kyrgyzstan
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Air Force Senior Airman Kailey Simmons of Tamaqua, presents her East End Fire Company with a memorial flag that was flown over Afghanistan as appreciation for their support for her while she was serving overseas. Kailey is volunteer firefighter with the East End Fire Company. Pictured, from left, are Tamaqua East End Fire Company volunteer firefighters Jeremy Eltringham, Thomas Nelson, Air Force Senior Airman Kailey Simmons, James Fredericks, chief Mark Boyle, Michael Angelo, and Kristy Melchior. The presented memorial flag display has the East End Fire Company name engraved in the plate.
Air Force Senior Airman Kailey Simmons returned home to Tamaqua after being stationed at Manas Air Force Base in Kyrgyzstan, a landlocked nine-province country located in central Asia, for over four months in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Senior Airman Simmons' primary duties consisted of mortuary services. Her base served as a transport stop for veterans killed in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Kailey said, "In addition to caring for the bodies and remains of servicemen and servicewomen killed overseas, we provided honor services for each casket that arrived. Despite the obvious reasons for disliking some of my duties, I still greatly enjoyed my job."
Simmons, 24, is a 2004 graduate of the Tamaqua Area High School. Kailey is the wife of Richard Simmons, of Tamaqua, and the daughter of David and Paula Breiner of Mantzville.
Since she is also a local volunteer firefighter with the Tamaqua East End Fire Company, she took some interest in firefighting while serving at her Air Force base in Kyrgyzstan. In appreciation for the East End Fire Company's support for her while she was serving overseas, Kailey presented her East End Fire Company with a memorial flag that was flown over Afghanistan.
Kailey joined the US Army in June, 2003 and then transferred to the US Air Force in February, 2007. Kailey says her unit has a definite possibility of returning in the next year.