Nurses, technicians recognized during appreciation week

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Larissa Greatwood
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Nurses and technicians were recognized all over the world for their hard work, dedication and sacrifices they make on a daily basis to selflessly care for their patients during the Nurses and Technician Appreciation Week May 6 through 13.

Airmen from the 86th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron took time from their fast-paced work schedules to spend time building morale and camaraderie by participating in fun activities.

Senior Airman Clifford Hughley, 86th AES technician, said the week was a great way to become closer with his coworkers outside of the normal everyday stresses.

“It’s a great thing to celebrate and be recognized for what you do,” he said. “We were able to take a step back and be around each other in a more relaxed environment. It was great to appreciate the nurses and for the nurses to appreciate us even though we try to do that on a daily basis. Having a week to focus solely on that was awesome.”

For Hughley, being a part of the medical field was something he knew he wanted to do before he decided to join the Air Force and his respect has grown since becoming a technician.

“Initially, I had a great deal of respect [for people in the medical field], but all I knew was hearing how those jobs are,” Hughley said. “Seeing it with my own eyes changed my life for the better. It made me more motivated to be a better person and Airman.”

With an upbeat attitude, Hughley knew his personality could benefit people who may be going through a rough time.

“My favorite part of my job is encountering different people,” he said. “I love people, I love talking to them, knowing their story and where they came from. I like to think I’m a happy person, so when I talk to people, it’s cool to see a smile on their face when I’m helping them.”

Though long hours and being on standby at all seconds of the day may seem exhausting, Hughley said the impact the 86th AES Airmen make is worth it. He realized that impact during a real-world mission.

“I went on an urgent mission once where I was notified within the hour I had to report,” he said. “It was a major motor vehicle accident involving three [service members]. That was a really eye-opening and humbling experience. They were really thankful and at that point, I realized I really was doing something life-changing. Knowing we’re helping people is what makes everything we do worth it.”

When thinking about his future, Hughley hopes to continue his career in the medical field.

“I feel like this is where I’m supposed to be,” he said. “I’m going to strive to be a part of different medical fields, but ultimately, the Air Force keeps me grounded. I plan on staying in the full 20 years and retiring, but still continue to do something in the medical field.”