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Patriotic Article
Military
By Army Spc. William K. Ermatinger

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'Together For The Holidays' Deployed Siblings Reunite In Iraq
(January 13, 2011)

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BAGHDAD (1/10/2011) – This time of the year, being away from Family can be extremely difficult for deployed military personnel, and for their families back home. However, the Nuckols Family, of Dillwyn, Va., can take comfort in knowing their children were able to spend the holidays together, even though they were thousands of miles from home.

Dillwyn natives Spc. Victoria Nuckols and her brother, Pfc. John Nuckols, deployed to Iraq at the same time, were able to see each other just in time for Christmas.

Victoria serves as an intelligence analyst with 1st Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, United States Division – North. She is currently stationed at Kirkuk Air Base, about 150 miles north of Baghdad, and was fortunate enough to fly to Camp Taji, just north of Baghdad, to see her brother who serves as an infantryman with
Siblings Pfc. John Nuckols (left), an infantryman with Company H, 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, United States Division – Center, and Spc. Victoria Nuckols, an intelligence analyst with 1st Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, United States Division – North, both Dillwyn, Va., natives, were able to spend Christmas eve together at Camp Taji, Iraq.
Dec. 24, 2010 - Siblings Pfc. John Nuckols (left), an infantryman with Company H, 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, United States Division – Center, and Spc. Victoria Nuckols, an intelligence analyst with 1st Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, United States Division – North, both Dillwyn, Va., natives, were able to spend Christmas eve together at Camp Taji, Iraq.
1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, United States Division – Center.
Victoria approached Lt. Col. Kenneth Chase, commander of 1st Sqdn., 6th Cav. Regt., with the idea to travel to Camp Taji and spend the holidays with her brother. Chase supported the idea and made all the necessary arrangements.

“The biggest challenge during my deployment was being without the familiarities of home,” Victoria said. “Having the opportunity to spend time with my brother on Christmas Day was extremely meaningful.”

The two have not seen each other since last Christmas at their home in Virginia, when John came home from basic training and Victoria met him on her coinciding leave before deploying.

A year later, the two were reunited in Iraq and spent the day catching up. They spent Christmas Eve talking about shared military experiences, recapping childhood memories and watching a Christmas movie.

John said it has always been a Family tradition to watch “National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation” on Christmas Eve. This year would be no different because his parents mailed the DVD to him.

“Being able to watch that movie with my sister brought a piece of home for me in Iraq,” he said.

Christmas Day was celebrated just like being at home—dinner with Family and a call to relatives. Dinner was filled with laughs and the playful teasing that many siblings have developed, John said.

After dinner the two called home and spoke with John and Brenda Nuckols, their father and stepmother, and Kathy Mitchell, their mother.

“Our parents have been concerned with both of us being deployed at the same time, but they were pleased to know we got to spend the holidays together,” Victoria said.

Victoria is nearing the end of her deployment and John is at the beginning of his. The difference in deployments limits the time these siblings will spend together. Understanding this, the siblings said how thankful they were for everyone who helped bring them together.

“Both of our units recognized the importance of family during the holidays and seized the opportunity to make our Christmas wish come true,” Nuckols said.
Article and photo by Army Spc. William K. Ermatinger
2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division Public Affairs
Copyright 2011

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