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Airlifter of the Week: Dreaming big

A U.S. Airman works on a computer.

U.S. Senior Airman Faith DeMeyer-Robles, 86th Dental Squadron dental assistant, works on a computer in the Dental Clinic at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Aug. 3, 2020. DeMeyer-Robles was elected as the Airmen Against Drunk Driving dispatcher and Social Media Manager, reducing the number of DUIs in the Kaiserslautern Military Community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Taylor D. Slater)

U.S. Air Force acting command chief coins U.S. Air Force Airman.

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Tommy Childers, acting 86th Airlift Wing command chief, coins Senior Airman Faith DeMeyer-Robles, 86th Dental Squadron dental assistant, in the Dental Clinic at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, July 30, 2020. DeMeyer-Robles revived the non-deployable patient program and expedited priority of care, eliminating patient backlog and saving the squadron 30 days of work. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Taylor D. Slater)

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- She’s done almost everything the 86th Dental Squadron has to offer; from scheduling patients for appointments to breaking and reassembling the jaws of her patients. What’s the next step for this Senior Airman?

Running the squadron.

“I’ve been through almost every section in this clinic except the leadership roles,” said Faith DeMeyer-Robles. “I just think it would be cool to manage a whole clinic and be responsible for them and ultimately optimize our effectiveness.”

Though the 86th DS dental assistant recently won the title of Airlifter of the Week, the award is just another step towards DeMeyer-Robles’ ultimate Air Force goal: becoming an Air Force officer.

DeMeyer-Robles’ work career began at the age of 14, waiting tables at local restaurants in her hometown of Willows, California.

“My parents were very big believers in that you have to make your own way in this world,” DeMeyer-Robles explained. “Also [another] part of it is I just like to be busy.”

This hunger to keep busy carried on into her Air Force career, where she maintained her occupation all while going to school and working with social programs such as Airmen Against Drunk Driving.

Although DeMeyer-Robles always had an interest in a medical career due to the television show Gray’s Anatomy, running the 86th DS wasn’t initially on DeMeyer-Robles’ mind because she wasn’t sure what to expect from the dental career field.

“I was a little hesitant at first because I didn’t like the dentist as a kid,” DeMeyer-Robles said. “I thought, ‘How is this going to work?’”

Since immersing herself in the field of oral care and helping patients through their pain, DeMeyer-Robles’ attitude has changed into someone who is proud of the job she possesses today.

“I love dental, and I honestly would not have any other job in the Air Force,” DeMeyer-Robles said.

One of the main obstacles to commissioning is standing apart from fellow Airmen, and DeMeyer-Robles remains well on the path to her biggest goal with a 4.0 GPA in the Community College of the Air Force as well as volunteering a AADD dispatcher and social media manager, reducing the number of DUIs in the Kaiserslautern Military Community.

Despite other obligations, DeMeyer-Robles has worked tirelessly as a dental assistant since arriving at Ramstein in 2018. The rise of COVID-19 brought a new set of challenges to the job. DeMeyer-Robles filled the noncommissioned officer in charge position for the largest overseas military oral surgery department, leading an eight-person team that performed 82 surgeries during COVID-19 operations. DeMeyer-Robles and her oral surgery team were the sole department selected to treat six trauma patients within the area.

”I’ve been able to manage multiple people at a time and make sure that we’re doing well with our numbers,” DeMeyer-Robles said. “As our leadership says, ‘training is good.’”

DeMeyer-Robles also revived the non-deployable patient program and expedited priority of care, eliminating patient backlog and saving the squadron 30 days of work.

This hard work culminated on July 30 in front of her colleagues and 86th Airlift Wing leadership. DeMeyer-Robles was recognized as Airlifter of the Week, an award recognizing outstanding Airmen across the wing.

At the end of the ceremony DeMeyer-Robles was only left with gratitude that her hard work was recognized throughout the base. This would not have been possible without the support of supervisors such as Staff Sgt. Rebecca Murphey, DeMeyer-Robles said.

“I definitely did not expect it,” DeMeyer-Robles said. “I’m surprised and grateful to my supervisors and myself, for putting the work in to be recognized by [leadership].”

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