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Rewarding in Romania: ‘I Could See the Smile on the Soldiers’ Faces’

Angela Morson, center, is welcomed back to Aviano AB by, left to right, Linda Vivan, Selena Mazzega and Store Manager Boris Nasci.

For Angela Morson, the month she spent serving troops at the tip of the spear has been the most rewarding of her 19-year Exchange career.

From May 28 to June 25, she helped operate a mobile field Exchange in Cincu, Romania, for troops engaged in Saber Guardian 2019. Her teammates at Italy’s Aviano AB, where she is a vault supervisor, celebrated her homecoming in July.

“Everybody was there for a purpose, all working together to accomplish it,” said Angela Morson, back row, far right. Her colleagues included Misret Rexhepi,
Shkumbin Zekolli, Nexhat Tahiri, Gazmend Mehmeti, Raymond Schnabel
and Chass Waugh

While 800 miles away from home, Morson said, she gained understanding of the Exchange mission and relevancy.

“Everybody was there for a purpose, all working together to accomplish it,” Morson said.  “I could see the smile on Soldiers’ faces and gratitude in their eyes when they would buy something. They were all relieved to have a hint of normalcy.”’

COL Scott McFarland, commander of the Exchange’s Europe/Southwest Asia Region, praised Morson’s commitment to the mission.

“Those who raise their hands to deploy voluntarily recognize how important the Exchange is to our forces in remote locations,” McFarland said.

Morson agreed.

“Being side by side with troops, experiencing field life like sleeping in tents and eating MREs gave me a true picture of conditions the deployed troops must go. Sometimes we take for granted our good living conditions, but when we meet lack of comforts, we can understand how lucky we are.”

Morson suggested that all associates who desire to serve troops should consider deploying. Or as in her words, “Go for it!”

Since the 9/11 terror attacks, nearly 4,800 associates have deployed around the world.

“You need to go out from your comfort zone and overcome difficulties,” Morson said, “Embrace our mission: ‘We go where you go to improve the quality of your lives thorough goods and services we provide.’

“That’s also what I told Soldiers who asked me why I was sleeping in a tent: because the Exchange goes where you go.”

Angela Morson and her coworkers show certificates of appreciation presented to them by the Army Reserves’ 211th Regional Support Group from Texas.

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