Supply NCO deploys for USSOUTHCOM exercise, says it all started with trying to be like 'mom'
By Master Sgt. Kelly Ogden
/ Published May 13, 2014
Master Sgt. Kelly Ogden -- She was home-schooled. After graduating high school, she went to college to become a teacher or a journalist, but ultimately chose a different career path and now she's on her second military deployment to Belize.
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Delilah Simmons, a supply noncommissioned officer deployed from the 820th RED HORSE Squadron, Las Vegas, joined the Air Force seven years ago.
Her parents, Joe and Michelle, were both members of a security forces squadron and met while they were stationed in San Antonio. Sgt. Simmons, their first-born and only daughter, was the only one of their three children who decided to enlist.
Ultimately, she wanted to be like her mother.
"I joined the military to be like mom," said Simmons. "She is the strongest, most loyal and giving person I know."
Simmons that it was her very structured childhood and parents' focus on education that prepared her for military life.
Currently, she's deployed to Belize in support of the U.S. Southern Command-sponsored New Horizons exercise.
Sergeant Simmons has the enormous responsibility of ensuring everyone is following the approved security plan, issuing and ensuring the safe handling of weapons and performing security checks to ensure 100 percent accountability of government assets.
She says that the best part about being deployed to Belize is being in a new country, interacting with the locals, and being able to see all of the different services and career fields working together to make the mission successful.
When she's not working one of her 13 hour per day shifts, she's taking time out to mentor young Belizean girls.
She recently took part in an inspirational symposium aimed at empowering young women to respect themselves, finish their education and to follow their dreams.
"It was great to be able to share my experiences with the young ladies and to make a difference in their lives," she said. "Relaying experiences and interacting with the girls was rewarding. It's amazing how they look up to you for just wearing the uniform, which is a big responsibility and this experience made me appreciate that even more."
Simmons is currently working on her bachelor's degree in legal studies, likes to read and is very active in her church.