Kathryn Vernon’s “regular” job is Seattle district manager with the FAA’s air traffic organization. But the past several months she’s been working in Baghdad as deputy transportation counselor to the U.S. Embassy and as deputy senior consultant for aviation to the Iraq Reconstruction Management Office.
Her two daughters graduated from Wilson High School and one lives here in Tacoma after a stint in Togo with the Peace Corps. The other is in the Army, in flight training at Fort Rucker, Ala. Her parents live in Tacoma, as do two of her sisters and their families.
In short, she’s one of ours.
She served in the Air Force before embarking on her 24-year career with the FAA. She wanted to do something to help in Iraq. “My parents raised us to serve – that is what I tried to do with my daughters, and what I’ve tried to do as well,” she told me. “I don’t believe we should expect our children to be over here if we aren’t willing to come ourselves – that is why I am here.
“I also believe that, no matter the reason this war was started, we have an obligation to help this country – they were oppressed by Sadaam and have been devastated by violence. They need help to get back on their feet. That is also why I am here.”
She periodically writes home about her experiences, and I asked her to share those notes here. Click below to read her latest.