Specialist helps provide dignity, honor to fallen servicemembers

  • Published
  • By Kendahl Johnson
  • Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations Center Public Affairs
Like other servicemembers deployed to the Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations Center, one staff sergeant here is taking full advantage of her opportunity to provide dignity, honor and respect to fallen warriors and their families.

Staff Sgt. Candice Foxe is on a four-month deployment as a dress and restoration specialist. Her job consists primarily of preparing the fallen for burial, including dressing the fallen in their military uniforms.

"Ours is the last step in the process," she said. "It's difficult, but it helps to know I am providing dignity and honor for that servicemember and his or her family members. It's my way of giving back and I take great honor and pride in what I do."

Sergeant Foxe, a Reservist in the 512th Memorial Affairs Squadron, grew up in Baltimore. She saw her god sister join the Air Force when she was 11 years old and was inspired to do likewise. She joined the Reserve so she could have a choice of where she wanted to serve. She's been in the Reserve for nine years and will likely reenlist in November.

The sergeant takes so much pride in her work that she continually volunteers to deploy to AFMAO. This is her eighth deployment here. Being experienced allows her the chance to help others who are coming here for the first time.

Her supervisor, Senior Master Sgt. Crystal White, said having someone with experience in dress and restoration has been a huge blessing.

"She is very professional and has taken on the responsibility of training those in the section who do not have experience," Sergeant White said. "She is very compassionate and takes her job seriously."

Sergeant Foxe said some jobs at AFMAO may not be for everyone and she encourages those who are newly assigned to the center to not be afraid to let someone know if something is uncomfortable.

"Don't try to be a hero. Don't be afraid to say I can't handle this job or a certain section," she said. "If you can't work in a section, you need to let someone know. There are plenty of jobs here and they will find you something you are more comfortable doing."