FORT DIX, N.J. (12/21/2012) - The U.S. armed forces have been deploying to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom for more than a decade. Service members rarely expect to be deployed at the exact time as a relative. However, this possibility became reality for Allenhurst, Ga., residents Lt. Col. Anna L. Rego, a log cap support officer, and her son, 1st Lt. Harry Cambrelen, Jr., executive officer for the 359th Inland Cargo Transportation Company.
Lt. Col. Anna Rego and family at promotion ceremony for her son Harry Cambrelen, November 29, 2012. (Photo courtesy of the Rego family)
Rego's family has a rich tradition of members serving in the military. Rego currently serves in the Army Reserve and Cambrelen is active Army. She has served in the military for 26 years. Her son has served for 18 months.
“The only thing I ever wanted to do was be in the Army, and when my son joined the Army it was the best honor he could have bestowed upon me,” said Rego. “He made me very proud when he joined and I'm hoping my two daughters Barbara and Heather follow his lead.”
Her daughter Barbara Rego is a freshman at Georgia Perimeter College and Heather Rego is a junior in high school. During college, Cambrelen decided to join the Army ROTC program.
Cambrelan was commissioned in May 2011 from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Ga. In November, Rego had the unique opportunity of promoting her son.
“We promoted him the weekend after thanksgiving. My brother and sister were there and so the internal family was together for the first time in years,” said Rego.
Her husband, Robert M. Rego, is also retired U.S. Army and served 20 years on active duty in the infantry.
“I feel really proud of my wife and son deploying to Afghanistan together,” said Robert Rego. “I was a little concerned, but my wife and son are well trained and know what to do.”
This will be the first deployment for both Rego and Cambrelen. Both mother and son are expected to be at the same base in Afghanistan during their deployment.
Originally, they were expected to serve their deployments in different locations, but through fate Rego's orders were changed to place them together.
“I didn't ask for it; it just happened that way,” Rego said. “I have great comfort knowing that God is in charge, and he will take care of both my son and me.”
Rego's mission while deployed in Afghanistan is to oversee the contracting support overseas. The group Rego is deploying with will be going out on missions as individuals. Her group falls under the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program Support Brigade, which is headquartered in Fort Belvoir, Va.
“During pre-mobilization at Rock Island, Ill., the group had theatre logistics training, which is our technical training,” said Rego. “The group had a two-week course on operational contract support and an additional week of hands-on training.”
In contrast, the training the group is receiving at Fort Dix is designed to reinforce basic soldiering skills.
“The training we've received here at Fort Dix is basic fundamentals that I feel has been effective and relevant,” said Rego. “Although the training does not reflect our mission, I feel we can get to theatre and protect ourselves and come home safely knowing those skills.”
Throughout the training period, the duo has been finding multiple ways to communicate during this deployment, which includes e-mail and phone. They've already been able to practice those communication skills while conducting mobilization training in different locations.
They have a lot of support at home from family members, but their biggest support is her husband.
He had a little advice for other families experiencing a multiple family member deployment.
“Keep faith and send them care packages, Skype, email and tell them you love them,” said Robert Rego.
By Army Sgt. Ashley Bell
Provided through DVIDS
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