The ‘voice’ of Taji

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By Sgt. Scott Raper, 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade Public Affairs Specialist

Pfc. Yesica Deras, 198th Military Police Battalion (Photo by Sgt. Scott Raper, 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade Public Affairs Specialist)

TAJI, Iraq— Officers in the Base Defense Operation Center (BDOC) on Camp Taji, Iraq, say everyone knows her voice.  Every tower on the perimeter listens to her everyday.  They know whom they are talking to.  And every now and then she must be the ‘big voice’ alerting the Soldiers and civilians of potential threats or special instructions over the base wide loud speaker.  But she is simply referred to as ‘the voice of Taji.’

Pfc. Yesica Deras is normally a 92 Alpha or Automated Logistical Specialist for the 198th Military Police Battalion.  For the unit’s deployment to Iraq, she was trained as a radio/telephone operator (RTO).  Her job is an important one at Camp Taji, ensuring communications are working for those that oversee the security of the base.

“When I first started doing this, I was nervous,” she said.  “And I had to learn the proper words to use on the radio, but I got the hang of it and now I can talk to whoever I want.

Deras calls the military and her unit a ‘different kind of family’ and is thankful for her fellow Soldiers around her.  She calls them all ‘good people’ like Spc. Brandon Burdett who always works along side of her in the BDOC.

“I have my battle buddies, so I have no problems,” she states simply.  “If you are in a unit that you love and you like everybody in it, you are going to enjoy any mission you have.”

When asked if she would deploy again, Deras doesn’t think long before saying yes, knowing it would be good for her career.

“Because when you join the Army, you want to do stuff, you don’t just want to be at home,” she said.  “You want to explore and do what you are supposed to do you know.   And it would be nice to have a little more experience and more stuff for your career, its something you are proud of.”

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