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Mom receives stripe from son
By Staff Sgt. Barbara Harbison, 108ARW/PA
Mom receives stripe from son

During her recent promotion, Master Sgt. Lisel White (left) had a special person to pin on her latest stripe – her son, Tech. Sgt. Steven Blackstone (right). He was at McGuire Air Force Base, training for deployment to Afghanistan.

The mother and son both joined the military late in 1994; she enlisted before him but he left for basic first. Blackstone has spent his time in the active duty Air Force and is currently working as an information manager for the Air Force Office of Special Investigation. White, on the other hand, has spent her entire military career in the 108th Air Refueling Wing. When she entered the Air Guard, she served in information management but five years ago cross-trained to become a Military Equal Opportunity specialist.

When her son was 17 and looking into joining the Air Force, his recruiter told him about the National Guard.Three days before her 35th birthday, White was sworn into the Guard.

While White was at basic training, Steven’s twin sister, Salina, came home from college at Rowan University and “stepped up to help around the house with her younger sister Elise,” said White. After her training was done, White came back home to resume her civilian career selling real estate. As she performed her military duties here in New Jersey, she watched her son as he grew in his career.

Both Blackstone and White admit that having a family member in the military makes communication about their military lives easier and both continually express admiration for each other’s careers. White said that she was, “honored to have Steven here to pin on my rank at the promotion ceremony.”

They share another love in their lives also – singing. White is known in the 108th as half of the duo that sings the national anthem at virtually every occasion at the wing. Blackstone is also a singer and according to his mother, they sang together while he was home this time at a gospel fest in New York City. With practice in the car on the way to the event, they combined voices for what she said was a very good performance. And as any normal mother would do, she bragged that he had sung the national anthem for a Charlotte Hornets/New York Knicks game while he was stationed at Seymour Johnson.

Pride was evident also in Blackstone as he talked about his mother.  “My hat is off to her.  After being established as a civilian, joining the military took the cake,” he said. “It is a blessing that she can serve in this capacity.  “I’m proud to have her as one of my fellow Airmen."

Table of Contents
Volume 33 Number 5 Staff / Information
(c) 2008 NJ Department of Military and Veterans Affairs