By Nathan L. Hanks Jr.
A Maintenance Center Albany civilian-Marine departed from Southwest Georgia Regional Airport in Albany for service overseas, Friday.
Clifford Searcy, heavy mobile equipment mechanic, Forward Branch, Trades Department, MCA, will be providing support for the Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected Maintenance Program in Kuwait for up to one year. He will be performing basic maintenance on Buffalo and Cougar MRAPs, the same type of work he does at MCA.
Surrounded by Angela, his wife of 11 years, and 12 other family members, Searcy received a hearty send-off. Searcy said he volunteered for the assignment because of his grandchildren.
“I want my grandkids to have freedom, receive a good education and have a better future,” he said. “They are the reason I volunteered.”
Searcy’s military career began in 1980 when he joined the Army. After a one-year break in 1986, he joined the Army Reserves in 1987 and retired in 2003 with the rank of staff sergeant.
In 2005, Searcy began working at MCA as a civilian-Marine. He volunteered for his current assignment; however, he is no stranger to overseas deployments.
His last deployment was a one-year stint in Bosnia from 2000 to 2001 as a soldier.
“My last overseas deployment I was a war-fighter, but now I am going as a worker,” he said.
Searcy said he is looking forward to his first deployment to Kuwait.
“I wanted to be of service,” he said. “I served in the military and I wanted to serve overseas as a civilian-Marine. Once you have served in the military, serving becomes second nature.”
According to Searcy, his family is used to him deploying so when he volunteered for the assignment, he had their full support.
“The mission in Kuwait is very important,” he said. “This is something I wanted to do.”
Col. Terry W. Reid, commander, MCA, was also at the airport for the send-off.
“Any time we have departures or arrivals, and I’m in town, it’s on my schedule to be here,” he said.
Reid said he met Searcy’s family in a pre-deployment brief held for the civilian-Marines, their spouses and families. The purpose of the brief is to help the family understand what Searcy will be going through while in Kuwait, he said.
“We have a great family support system at MCA,” Searcy said. “I don’t have to worry about my family as much, which helps me focus on my job.”
Searcy is the father of six children and has five grandchildren. He said he will miss his family, especially his grandchildren.
His daughter, Randi Wynn, 16, said she will miss her father because he was her movie partner.
“We watch a lot of action movies together,” she said. “We finished watching a movie prior coming to the airport.”
Searcy’s wife said the deployment will provide a better life, financially, for the family and allow them to do a few things they had not been able to do. She has already made plans once her husband returns from deployment.
“When he returns, we are going on a cruise for seven days,” she said. “When we get back, we will take the children and grandchildren to the beach in Florida and enjoy the sunshine.”
Nathan L. Hanks Jr.
Loved ones of Clifford Searcy, heavy mobile equipment mechanic, Maintenance Center Albany, wave goodbye as his aircraft departs the Southwest Georgia Regional Airport terminal, Friday.
Nathan L. Hanks Jr.
Clifford Searcy, heavy mobile equipment mechanic, Maintenance Center Albany, hugs his wife, Angela, before deploying Friday to Kuwait for one year to work on the Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected Maintenance Program.