In work and at home, love has played a critical role in the Pelletier family. Acting as a beacon, love has brought them together through the fog of uncertainty, constantly guiding them into the future.
It is the love for each other, their three children and for the Air Force that keeps them together.
Senior Master Sgt. Mike Pelletier and Master Sgt. Amanda Pelletier, 76th Airlift Squadron flight attendants, provide airlift support for U.S. military and government executives to destinations across the globe to meet with international partners.
The main responsibility of a flight attendant is the safety of the passengers, but duties also include meal and drink service to ensure the comfort of senior leaders as they travel. They receive thorough culinary training and cook high-quality meals for their distinguished visitor passengers.
“Whether it’s a four-star general or a congressional delegation, we contribute by helping these leaders get refreshed, ready to work and hit the ground running,” Mike said.
There are less than 250 flight attendants currently serving in the U.S. Air Force. Because the field is so small, it remains relatively unknown to many. Both Pelletiers heard about the job by chance when serving in other fields and cross-trained to become flight attendants.
“(Mike) was already a qualified flight attendant when I arrived,” Amanda said. “He had experienced all the trials and tribulations I was facing and was able to guide and push me a little bit harder and let me know that the end result was going to be worth it.”
Mike said their personal development as Airmen and flight attendants over the years highlighted individual strong points that allowed them to strengthen each other.
“(Amanda) will say that I’m more of a people person,” Mike said. “But she’s the better NCO, so we complement each other. A lot of people we work with might think we’re the same, but we actually have a lot of differences in how we approach situations. I think we make each other better, because we have different angles of problem solving.”
The couple has worked together through the years to build both a family and successful careers in the Air Force. Though they both share a passion for the work, they note there are plenty of difficulties in maintaining a relationship, raising three children and performing a job that requires more than 250 days of TDY each year.
“It’s great, because we understand each other and the dynamics of the job,” Mike said. “But being two flyers, it’s hard on the relationship, because we high-five each other in and out the door a lot. Someone is on the road, and someone is home with the kids, or sometimes we’re both gone. It can be stressful.”
Despite the difficulties, the Pelletiers are passionate about their work.
“This job is a hidden gem,” Amanda said. “We get to travel and fly incredible people around the world. Every mission is a different mission, and you challenge yourself day in and day out.”
An appreciation for the job and the support they find in each other motivates the Pelletiers to continue aiming high. Through the unsteady hours and unforeseen challenges, devotion to the Air Force and to each other keeps them focused on serving to the best of their ability.
“Sometimes it’s hard, but in the next breath you realize you enter and leave work right alongside your best friend,” Amanda said. “We’re both driven to take care of people and the mission in an Air Force that we love.”