Streaming Media


Oral History interview of Lauren Campbell. Interview conducted by Messamore, Kyle at Campbell Residence.


0:10 Introduction; 0:34 Life Prior to enlistment; 1:00 Reason why she chose Air Force Reserve; 1:30 Parent's background; 2:03 Twin brother's background; 2:16 Family's response to her choice in enlisting in the Air Force Reserve; 3:06 Basic training; 4:16 Reaction to spending holidays away from family; 5:00 Most memorable moment of basic training; 7:00 Least memorable/worst moment of basic training; 10:30 More training after basic training; 10:58 'Pushing flights'; 11:57 Flying school: Kirtland Air Force base; 12:27 Views on training sufficiently preparing her for deployment to Afghanistan; 13:40 Feelings on being deployed to Afghanistan; 15:37 Initial reaction upon arrival; 16:52 'Color saturation issues'; 16:59 Description of Afghanistan; 17:28 Day to day responsibilities on base; 22:25 Joint Marine and British Air Base; 22:50 Working with British forces; 23:45 Other joint forces; 24:15 Connections/social life with other soldiers; 25:28 Pedro name being recognizable within rescue; 26:15 Sensation of being airborne; 27:15 Flying combat; 28:39 Reflection of being the first female gunner in the Air Force Reserve; 30:18* VIDEO CUTS TO NEW TITLE ON THE DVD; 32:33 Reflection on first ever female gunners; 34:03 Most memorable experience while deployed in Afghanistan; 34:14 First day in Afghanistan; 36:48 First night Afghanistan; 39:01 Least memorable memory of Afghanistan; 40:53 Troop moral; 41:43 Downtime; 43:16* HAD TO PAUSE INTERVIEW DUE TO SOMEONE AT THE DOOR; 43:39 Process of returning home; 46:46 Best overall experience in the Air Force Reserves/reflection on deployment; 49:01 Reflecting on re-acclimating to civilian life; 49:45 Conclusion/Thank you.

Date of Birth


Place of Birth

Orlando (Fla.)




American Indian or Alaska Native

Home State


War or Conflict

Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan



Entrance into Service


Branch of Service

U.S. Air Force Reserve

Unit of Service

301st Rescue Squadron, 920th Rescue Wing, 10th Air Force. 26th Expeditionary Rescue Squadron.

Location of Service


Highest Rank

Staff Sergeant SSgt

Prisoner of War


Service Related Injury





Basic Enlisted Aircrew Wings, Air Medal, Aerial Achievement Medal, Air Force Combat Action Medal, Air Force Meritorious Unit Award, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, Air Force Combat Readiness Medal, Air Force Reserve Meritorious Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon, Air Force Longevity Service Award Air Force, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Military Education Graduate Ribbon, Basic Training Honor Graduate Ribbon, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, Air Force Training Ribbon, NATO Service Medal


First female aerial gunner in the history of the Air Force Reserve; first non-prior military service hire in the 301st RQS; first female crewmember in the 301st; Honor and Distinguished Graduate in all phases of training; two real world rescue sorties of over 16 combined hours. Support for US Special Operations Command and NASA exercises; SEAL, Special Forces, Combat Controllers, Pararescuemen, and Ranger training. Over 147 combat rescue missions, over 90 saves and 200 assists


Engaged in battles in Helmand province, Afghanistan. Awarded "Basic Enlisted Aircrew Wings; Air Medal with six Oak Leaf Clusters; Aerial Achievement Medal; Air Force Combat Action Medal; Air Force Meritorious Unit Award; Air Force Outstanding Unit Award; Air Force Combat Readiness Medal; Air Force Reserve Meritorious Service Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Afghanistan Campaign Medal with bronze service star; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; USAF Expeditionary Service Ribbon with gold border; AF Longevity Service Ribbon; USAF Armed Forces Reserve Medal with M device; Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Military Education Graduate Ribbon; Basic Military Training Honor Graduate Ribbon; Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon with bronze service star; Air Force Training Ribbon; NATO Service Medal."

Country of Birth

United States


Messamore, Kyle

Interview Date

Spring 4-13-2012


Campbell, Lauren A., Afghanistan and Iraq Wars, 2001-present -- Personal Narratives, Women and the military -- United States, United States. Air Force

Collection Description

Contains logs, audio and video recordings of interviews with Central Florida's veterans as part of a history class project for the students at the University of Central Florida (UCF). The UCF Community Veterans History Project(CVHP) started in fall 2010. It collects, preserves, and makes accessible to the public the experiences of Central Florida's veterans so that future generations will better understand the realities of conflict. It is a collaborative endeavor supported by multiple departments and offices at UCF. The veterans' histories are archived and made digitally available through the UCF library and selected materials are contributed to the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress.

Contributor Affiliation / Organization

RICHES; University of Central Florida


Messamore, Kyle

Length of Interview

51 Minutes


Department of History, University of Central Florida


video / mp4 DVD


All rights are held by the respective holding institution. This material is posted publicly for non-profit educational uses, excluding printed publication. For permission to reproduce and/or for copyright information contact Special Collections and University Archives, University of Central Florida Libraries, (407) 823-2576.


University of Central Florida Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives

Contributing Project

UCF Community Veterans History Project

Document Type