Mother, Son Serve Together
(February 13, 2011)
Marine Corps Cpl. Adam Hoel,
left, and his mother, Navy Petty Officer 1st
Class Crystal Hoel, are deployed together in
Kandahar, Afghanistan on February 11, 2011.
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, Feb. 11, 2011 – It
was 4 a.m. when she settled in to watch the
Pittsburgh Steelers play the Green Bay Packers.
Technically, it was Super Bowl Monday for her.
Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Crystal Hoel,
an intelligence analyst for the 3rd Naval
Construction Regiment, is a native of
Mechanicsburg, Pa. The timing of live television
programs often makes them impossible to watch
while she's deployed, but this was an event she
was not going to miss.
The military had
made the reservist miss several things over the
years, but she wasn't about to miss this. As she
sat in Afghanistan, soda in hand and surrounded
by co-workers, she had a very special guest by
her side: her son.
Attached to the naval
air facility in Washington, D.C., Hoel had been
deployed for months when she got word that her
son, Marine Corps Cpl. Adam Hoel, attached to
the Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area
Master Station, Kunia, Hawaii, would be joining
“Mom was already in Afghanistan when I got my orders, and I
was very excited when I found out I was going to the same
base,” Adam said. “When you're in the military, it's hard to
see your family, and it was really good to know I would be
close to her.”|
The corporal's mother recalled his
“I cried when I first saw Adam,” she said.
“Our first meeting was at one of the dining facilities on
base at about 7 p.m. on New Year's Eve. It was the first
time I had seen him since leaving my home in early June to
deploy. What a great New Year's gift!”
is Adam's first deployment, it is his mother's second. “Of
course she has been giving me advice,” said Adam, who
graduated from Mechanicsburg Area High School in 2008. “No
way could she resist doing that.”
Crystal said that
was only natural.
“My mothering instincts are to want
to protect and keep him safe,” she said. “Make sure he
understands his job, hope he likes his job, make sure he is
taking time out for himself, and has his room set up so he
is comfortable there. But at the same time, he is a grown
man and a Marine, so I have to stifle that.”
joined the Marine Corps delayed entry program in June 2007,
when he was 17. He left for boot camp July 13, 2008. He was
destined to join the Corps, he said. After all, his father
was a Marine, and so was his mother, before a break in
service and a path that eventually led her back in, only
this time in the Navy, when Adam was in 10th grade.
“I was happy for her, but also a little nervous, of course,”
he said. “But I supported her decision, because I just
wanted her to be happy in what she was doing. I will
continue to support her, but I will tell you that Christmas
sucks when she is not there with us.”
service in the Marine Corps and then continued service years
later in the Navy played an important role in Adam's
decision to the join the Marines.
“Adam has wanted to
be a Marine since he was a little boy, so a deployment to a
kinetic area was an inevitable part of his future,” she
said. “I know that and support him fully, but it doesn't
mean I have to like it.”
Her son said the example his
parents set made an early impression on him.
always knew I would want to defend my parents just like they
did for others when I was younger,” he said. “I also joined
because I love my country and wanted to give something back.
I knew the Marines would take care of me and make me into a
Now that the two are stationed here
together -- albeit for a short period of time, since Crystal
is due to go home soon, they try to see each other as often
“We try to meet for chow every other
night, but I do not want him to feel obligated to visit me
or hang out with me,” Crystal said. “We both have jobs that
require mental focus and a lot of our personal time.”
Adam said he feels fortunate to have had the opportunity
to share part of his deployment with his mother.
have told my friends that my mom is here, and they think it
is pretty cool,” he said. “Most of them couldn't see their
mom here, or in the military at all, for that matter. It is
even harder for them to believe the odds of us getting
stationed here at the same time.”
The Marine's mother
said she is ready to go home, but the trip will now be
“It will be tough to leave him here,”
she acknowledged. “I know I will cry the last time I see
him, just like I did the first time I saw him. Hopefully,
the four months he has left will go fast for both of us.”
Her son said having his mother here has helped him to
keep his mind at ease.
“I feel better being here with
her and knowing where she is and what she's doing,” he said.
“I don't want anything bad to happen to her, and I'm glad
she's heading home. She deserves to. I'll just look forward
to the next time I see her, which will be in a few months
when she greets me at the airport –- this time on American
soil –- and we will both be happier about that.”
Article and photo by Navy CPO Terrina Weatherspoon|
3rd Naval Construction Regiment
American Forces Press Service
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