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Father, Son Deployed Together At Ali Al Salem
by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Breanna Diaz
June 22, 2023

When Airman 1st Class Ashton Mayer, 386th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron Force Protection escort, arrived in Kuwait after a long journey from the states, he had no idea his ride to Ali Al Salem would be so memorable. Among the sea of unfamiliar faces at the hot, sandy terminal, his dad, Senior Airman Jacob Mayer, 386th Logistics Readiness Squadron vehicle operator, was there to greet him and drive him to the base.

June 5, 2023 - U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Jacob Mayer, 386th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron vehicle operator and Airman 1st Class Ashton Mayer, 386th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron Force Protection escort, at Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait. The Mayers are a father and son duo deployed together in Kuwait. (Image created by USA Patriotism! from U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Breanna Diaz.)
June 5, 2023 - U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Jacob Mayer, 386th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron vehicle operator and Airman 1st Class Ashton Mayer, 386th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron Force Protection escort, at Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait. The Mayers are a father and son duo deployed together in Kuwait. (Image created by USA Patriotism! from U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Breanna Diaz.)

“I was fortunate enough to be assigned as the operator to pick up the passengers at the terminal, which included my son,” said Jacob. “It was a nice surprise and a very special moment for us.”

The happy memories didn’t stop at the terminal. The father and son duo were determined to make the most of their 2 weeks deployed together.

“We’ve been running together every morning at sunrise,” said Jacob. “Also, a lot of the force protection vehicles are manual transmission, so my dad took the time to teach me how to drive stick shift.”

Originally from Bronson, Michigan, Jacob is a reservist based out of Grissom Air Reserve Base in Indiana. He joined the military at 39 years old after his oldest son became a Marine. This helped him realize the military could provide a career that would align with his life and values.

Ashton, is active duty stationed at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, and he also decided to follow in the footsteps of his brother and father. He was originally tasked to deploy in his usual career field as cyber security operations, but fate had different plans.

“Once we realized our time would align, I wasn’t even nervous to come out here anymore,” said Ashton.

The proud father of a Marine and an Airman, Jacob was in Kuwait for a while before finding out that his son would join him.
“I knew deploying was a part of the enlistment, so mentally, I was prepared to do my part and embrace the experience,” said Jacob. “It was a pleasant surprise to find out we would be here together and what are the odds that we would be deployed at the same time, to the same country and same base?”

June 5, 2023 - U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Jacob Mayer, 386th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron vehicle operator and Airman 1st Class Ashton Mayer, 386th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron Force Protection escort, remove ratchet straps from a trailer at Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait. The Mayers are a father and son duo deployed together in Kuwait. (Image created by USA Patriotism! from U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Breanna Diaz.)
June 5, 2023 - U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Jacob Mayer, 386th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron vehicle operator and Airman 1st Class Ashton Mayer, 386th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron Force Protection escort, remove ratchet straps from a trailer at Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait. The Mayers are a father and son duo deployed together in Kuwait. (Image created by USA Patriotism! from U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Breanna Diaz.)

The Mayers managed to create lifetime memories and Jacob’s leadership allowed him to take Ashton with him to ride-along during several cargo runs in the area.

On his way out, Jacob encouraged his son to keep a consistent sleep schedule and left him with some words of wisdom.
“My advice to Ashton is to be driven, be passionate, and take it one day at a time,” said Jacob. “I know he will thrive here.”

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