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A Family Within A Family

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Susan Dietz (right), 145th Medical Group, hugs her son, Senior Airman Jonathan Dietz (left), 145th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, on the flightline before he boards a C-130 Hercules aircraft at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Feb. 23, 2017. Airmen of the 145th Airlift Wing are deploying in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel to provide tactical airlift in the region.

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Susan Dietz (right), 145th Medical Group, hugs her son, Senior Airman Jonathan Dietz (left), 145th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, on the flightline before he boards a C-130 Hercules aircraft at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Feb. 23, 2017. Airmen of the 145th Airlift Wing are deploying in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel to provide tactical airlift in the region.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Jonathan Dietz (left), 145th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, hugs and jokes with his mom, Chief Master Sgt. Susan Dietz (right), 145th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, during a deployment processing line held at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Feb. 5, 2017. The deployment processing line had eight representatives from different units to address any final concerns the Airmen may have before deploying.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Jonathan Dietz (left), 145th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, hugs and jokes with his mom, Chief Master Sgt. Susan Dietz (right), 145th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, during a deployment processing line held at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Feb. 5, 2017. The deployment processing line had eight representatives from different units to address any final concerns the Airmen may have before deploying.

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Susan Dietz (center), 145th Medical Group, stands on the flightline watching C-130 Hercules aircraft depart for a deployment at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Feb. 23, 2017. Aboard one of the C-130 Hercules aircraft is her son, Senior Airman Jonathan Dietz, a crew chief with the 145th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, who will provide aircraft maintenance support for Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Susan Dietz (center), 145th Medical Group, stands on the flightline watching C-130 Hercules aircraft depart for a deployment at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Feb. 23, 2017. Aboard one of the C-130 Hercules aircraft is her son, Senior Airman Jonathan Dietz, a crew chief with the 145th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, who will provide aircraft maintenance support for Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

03/05/2017 - CHARLOTTE, N.C -- A family atmosphere has long been rooted in the 145th Airlift Wing and the Dietz family champions this statement. Senior Airmen Jonathan Dietz, of the 145th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, is the youngest son of Chief Master Sgt. Susan Dietz of the 145th Medical Group.

Jonathan Dietz is deployed for the first time in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel as crew chief on the C-130 Hercules aircraft, but he is different in that his mother has been there to support and guide him throughout the process.

“We’re always here; in the guard we don’t move like active military does every two years. You grow up through the ranks with each other. It’s like a brotherhood or sisterhood or an extended family whom you visit once a month. We push each other to succeed much like a family would,” said 1st Sgt. Jennifer Moreau, 145th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.

“I think she’s done a great job raising him. He’s a good person and is making his own way by doing the work. It’s tough when you have a family member with such a big name,” said Moreau.

Susan Dietz joined the military in June of 1980, and has witnessed both of her sons David and Jonathan follow in her footsteps.

As a child, Jonathan Dietz remembers, with nostalgia, his mother serving in the North Carolina Air National Guard, “I used to come out here as a kid all the time with my mom, I grew up here, and because of her, I knew I always wanted to join.” Jonathan Dietz did just that and enlisted in June of 2013.

“When I saw the name on the training roster, I recognized it. When he came back from technical training I confirmed that, yep, that’s her son. I made sure he understood I wouldn’t give him any leeway just because his mom is a chief,” said Moreau.

Jonathan Dietz recalls the reactions of his fellow Airmen after initially enlisting, “It’s interesting having my Mom work in the same unit and they picked on me sometimes.” Despite the banter, he’s forged his own path and is now deployed maintaining aircraft readiness for tactical airlift missions.

With a demanding work environment, increased on-duty hours, and higher stress, a deployment offers more experience compared to the day to day home station missions. Moreau said with pride, “I think he’s going to come back with so much growth. He’s going to come back even better than where he is now. It’s great to deploy these younger Airmen because they come back ready for leadership and being a non-commissioned officer.”

Susan Dietz attended the departure of her son and over 100 other members of the 145th Airlift Wing. She hugged her son on the flight-line just before he boarded a C-130 Hercules aircraft to his deployed location.

“From a mom’s perspective you’re always worried. That’s my baby boy, he’s my youngest; so it’s a little scary to see him deploy, but he’ll be alright because he’s going with a great group of guys,” said Susan Dietz.