BARNES AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Massachusetts --
Being an Airman, mother, wife, and sister puts a lot of responsibility on Master Sgt. Sara Jacobsen, 104th Maintenance Group engine manager. Having to be present in so many roles has occasionally been a struggle, but the support system of her family and the 104th Fighter Wing has made the most difficult times manageable.
“Other than the fact that my real family did enlist with me, you find you become close to these people and they become a second family,” said Jacobsen. “When you’re having a hard time, they’re there with you. When you’re having a great time, you’re there for them. It gives you much more in life.”
Jacobsen had relatives in the military, but when she saw her older brother join the Marine Corps, she decided the military was the right path for her. She enlisted at Barnes Air National Guard Base more than 20 years ago, bringing her older brother from the Marines with her. Her younger brother also enlisted in the Army.
During her career at the 104FW, Jacobsen met her husband, who she has been with for almost 13 years. They have two children. Jacobsen’s husband retired a few months ago, but Jacobsen said he is supportive of her choice to remain in the ANG.
“He would love to see me not have to deploy because we have kids,” said Jacobsen. “But he also knows that we met here. This is has been my life for 20 years.”
Jacobsen said that being on orders and travelling has given her some of the best memories, but every time she’s been away from her children has been difficult.
“It’ll never get easier, but when you’re gone and you know that they’re okay at home and you have a good support system at home, it’s not so bad, said Jacobsen. “You’re gone and it’s hard at the beginning and then before you know it you’re at the halfway mark and then you’re homeward bound. It’s not like were gone for years on end.”