Siblings Reunite While Deployed
(September 14, 2010)
BASRA, Iraq (Sept. 10, 2010) - A pair of siblings boasts a combined 35 years of
military service, more than five of which have been spent in a combat zone. Army
Capt. Tanya Rosa and Army 1st Sgt. Greg Harvey are carrying on a family
tradition of military service.|
Their father is a retired Air Force master sergeant and Vietnam veteran,
their uncle was a commander in the Navy, and Harvey's son, Army Spc. Wayne
Harris, serves at Fort Bragg, N.C.
"I don't remember a time in my life that my father didn't hang an American
flag outside our door, something that didn't seem to catch on in many
households until after [the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks]," Rosa said.
As a child, she added, she always wanted to follow in her brother's
"He was always doing the 'cool' things and had the best imagination," she
recalled. "Of course, when he got a mongoose, I had to have a purple
Harvey, first sergeant for an OH-58D Kiowa
Sept. 10, 2010 --
Army Capt. Tanya Rosa and Army 1st Sgt. Greg Harvey spend time together in Kuwait, the first time the siblings had seen each other in five years. Rosa wore her maiden name tape in the photo as a surprise for their parents.
Warrior cavalry troop in the 25th Infantry Division based in Hawaii, joined
the Army in November 1990. He has deployed five times. Rosa enlisted in the
Air Force in 1993. She spent 12 years as a Morse code interceptor before a
brief stint with the National Security Agency as a civilian.
"Being in the Air Force wasn't enough for me, either," she said. "I once again
had to follow my big brother. I wanted to finish what I started as an officer in
the Army [and] took a pay cut to become a lieutenant." |
Rosa is deployed with the 1st Infantry Division as a public affairs officer. She
previously deployed to Kuwait as a signal officer with the 1st Armored Division.
She and her brother recently reunited in Kuwait when Harvey's unit redeployed.
While they were together, Rosa changed her name tape to "Harvey" for a photo
opportunity to surprise their father. It was the first time the siblings had
seen each other in five years. Rosa also paid a visit to Harvey's son when he
passed through Kuwait.
While the miles may separate them, serving in the Army together has strengthened
the bond Rosa and Harvey have had since they were children.
"We already were very close, but I'd say it has definitely made us appreciate
the times we get to spend together," Rosa said.
Her brother agreed. "I consider us very close and supportive of each other," he
said. "We can relate easily."
Being in the same branch of service has given them a level of understanding for
one another that cannot be quantified.
"My brother is a hero in my eyes," Rosa said. "Several of his comrades have
given the ultimate sacrifice, and his best friend just recently lost his life.
My brother, of course, does not allow this to stop him. He's the first sergeant
after all, and he must take care of the troops.
"At that time, my mission was to be his 'Sis,'" she added. "I've noticed that's
what he calls me when he needs me."
Rosa said having a sibling in the military makes it easier to understand the
need to come together through difficult times, which is made easier knowing they
can lean on each other.
"It's a comfort to me to know if I need either a brother's advice or a first
sergeant's advice, I have the absolute best of both just a phone call away," she
Their parents, John and Vickie Harvey, offer unwavering support from the home
"My parents were very proud of my brother joining the Army and later me joining
the Air Force," Rosa said. "[Now they have] pride that both of their children
are now soldiers and combat veterans."
The soldiers' parents spearheaded a volunteer effort to hold "Support the
Troops" rallies outside the gates of Fort Rucker, Ala., every month, Rosa said.
The Harveys began rallying in 2003, when a group joined together weekly to hold
American flags and service banners outside MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.
"These rallies were meant to show nonpartisan support for our brave military
servicemembers," John Harvey said. "Three years ago, [when] we moved to Alabama,
... there was no similarly organized display of support for the young men and
women stationed at Fort Rucker."
Nine months ago, John set out to change this. He organized a group to show
support weekly to the soldiers at Fort Rucker, and the group has garnered
support from other residents, churches and community groups.
By Army SSgt. Melissa Applebee
Office of the Secretary of Defense Public Affairs
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