Loved Ones Deploy Together
(April 2, 2011)
March 10, 2011 -- Sgt.
Andrew D. McFerrin from B Company 640th Aviation
Support Battalion Command and his father Sgt.
Maj. David E. McFerrin from the 40th Combat
Aviation Brigade are deployed together at Camp
CAMP TAJI, Iraq (March 29, 2011) – When soldiers
are deployed to a warzone, separation from
families and loved ones can be a difficult
experience. Even with modern technology, such as
web cameras and online chatting, being apart
However, in today's Army it
isn't uncommon for Soldiers to deploy with their
family members and loved ones. This holds true
for several members of the 40th Combat Aviation
Brigade in Iraq today.
Command Sgt. Maj.
David E. McFerrin, a native of Fresno, Calif.,
is stationed at Camp Taji, Iraq with the 40th
CAB. McFerrin's son, Sgt. Andrew D. McFerrin,
from Clovis, Calif., is stationed on the same
post, assigned to Bravo Company in the 640th
Aviation Support Battalion.
Maj. McFerrin said there are advantages to
having a family member on the same deployment.
“There is a piece of home with you,” he said.
Sgt. McFerrin sees a different advantage. In
past deployments, he would come home and show
his family photographs of the places he had
seen. “This is my second tour in Taji,” Sgt.
McFerrin said, adding that now he can show his
dad those same places in
Siblings are also deployed together at Camp Taji. Two
siblings with the CAB are the Su brothers of La Puente,
Staff Sgt. Alonso Su works in the 640th ASB's
headquarters in computer support operations. His brother,
Pfc. Juan Su, is in the same battalion, assigned to Bravo
Company. Being in the same battalion gives them the
advantage of staying in contact with each other, they said.
Staff Sgt. Su said if feels the need to talk to his
brother, he just goes and finds him.
“We give each
other space,” said Pfc. Su, “but we eventually find each
other, and if I need to talk to him he is there.”
Sgt. Eric N. Fuentes, of Los Angeles, and Spc. Trena Reyes,
of Fresno, married shortly before the deployment and are
both working in the 640th's headquarters company.
Despite the advantage of being together during a deployment,
there are some concerns when both partners are on the same
mission overseas, Fuentes and Reyes said.
Worry is a
concern, said Reyes. “They are here with you, but if
something happens, you are wondering where they are.”
“Your wife hasn't come home and you go looking for her,”
Fuentes said. “It's not like back home. It's different
Anxieties can arise when loved ones are in a
dangerous area together, the couple explained. However, the
comfort of having a loved one with you in theater can
override the fear for their safety.
With our current
conflicts spanning a decade in length, the likelihood for
family members and loved ones to deploy together has grown.
These deployed soldiers may miss the fanfare of
getting off the plane and having their loved one greet them
for the first time in a year, but they can take comfort in
knowing what each of them has been through, and be happy
together at coming home.
Article and photo by Army Spc. Matthew Wright|
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