Senior Airman Chad Stephens returned home in April after several months of deployment overseas. Serving in South West Asia and other undisclosed locations in the region with the 8th EMXS of the United States Air Force, Stephens is excited to be back home with his family and new wife Lorin. Originally from Missouri, Chad now works as a structural mechanic at the Dover Air Force Base (DAFB) and lives in Milford.
Following his family’s legacy, Chad decided to join the military after he graduated from high school. On his father’s side of the family, every male in the Stephens family has served since the American Civil War in 1865. As a kid, he remembers finding his father’s military issued duffle bags as he constantly wore his dad’s gear around the house.
Joining the United States Air Force in 2007, Stephens began his training on learning how to become a mechanic on large military transport aircrafts including the C-5, C-17 and numerous other aircrafts. Meeting his wife Lorin several years ago while stationed at DAFB, the couple married in July of 2013. Four months later, Chad was deployed to Southwest Asia. While serving there, Stephens helped to maintain aircraft support for U.S. troops in Afghanistan, facilitating structural maintenance on several different types of military aircrafts.
“It was a great feeling, even though we were not directly in the war in Afghanistan,” commented Stephens. “I knew everything I did had an impact on what happened in the larger war effort.”
Stephens served in several locations in South West Asia before returning home in April of this year. Returning just over a month ago, he was met by his wife Lorin at the airport.
“I was very happy to see her and the rest of my family when I returned,” commented Stephens. “Being at home took some readjusting and after a week I was able to get back into the normal routine. After being disconnected from them for so long I am still trying to reconnect.”
Senior Airmen Stephens is back to work at Dover Air Force Base as he oversees two airframes. He states that the amount of work that he receives back home is not as high as it was overseas where he was in charge of six to eight airframes at any one time. Chad will also be looking to possibly make a transition into civilian life as he continues to reconnect with family and friends. Whether he decides to continue in the Air Force with aircraft structural maintenance or pursues another career, Stephens comments that he will stay involved with military service one way or another.
“The military will always be a part of my life,” said Stephens. “I like the structure and the values that it has instilled in me.”