My Hero

Name of Hero: Melissa M. Pridgen

Hero City: Jacksonville, AR

Submitted by: Deborah

May 24, 2012 My Hero… Deborah Rossi

My daughter joined the Air Force right out of High School, imagine that! My daughter the night owl – I still remember telling her “Um hon, you do know that they get up at the crack of dawn, hello”. She is and forever will be the light of my life!

Dasia 5 and Gino 3 are raised with an iron fist but also with unbelievable amounts of TLC. And, as if my daughter doesn’t have enough on her plate, she continues her education in the hopes of securing her degree in psychology to help military families out in their time of need.

Blessed with an angel’s voice she also donates her time to singing the National Anthem for American Legions, Military functions, Retirements and; actually to anyone else that asks her to do so – her heart as big as the sacrifices she makes every day keeping our country safe. I could never, in a million lifetimes be more proud.

Melissa has also had to face adversity although she also has many accomplishments. A few years back she learned that she was being deployed to Quattar. Unlike previous deployments assigned, this particular deployment was like a dagger through her heart tugging at her mom heart strings and there was no way that pain was ever going to subside. No, this deployment meant she would be unable to be home for Gino’s 1st birthday, and his first Christmas. In addition to that, there was the heartbreak of also being away from Dasia. I was sure this deployment would do nothing more but crush her. Yet, somehow she found the courage and the strength to successfully complete her TDY – unbelievable and quite remarkable as I say proudly – Yes, this is my daughter Melissa!!

Melissa has dedicated 15+ years to the USAF giving herself unconditionally to all that enter and yes, even the ones that will be entering, into her life. I have no doubt that every life she touches her warmth, love and understanding will never be easily forgotten. She is genuine, compassionate, and loyal to all that have the pleasure of knowing her and I wholeheartedly believe that it is the AF that is very lucky to have her!!

So yes, I am quite thankful (and blessed) to have and be a part of, Melissa, Dasia, and Gino for they shine brighter than any star I have seen thus far!!

Deborah Rossi proud mother of Melissa M. Pridgen, TSgt, USAF,Executive Assistant 314th Airlift Wing Command Chief Knowledge Operations, Little Rock AFB 72099

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