This month, five sets of brothers with the 1st Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment, a reserve unit headquartered at Houston's Ellington Field will deploy to Afghanistan. Last year, nine sets of brothers deployed from a reserve unit in Nevada. Our church listed eight sets of brothers in the military, although not deployed....and that doesn't count us if we'd add our middle son, Jonathan to the mix. Is this becoming the norm? Frankly, I have no idea. But I will tell you this, for those families this is not about doubling the pleasure and doubling the fun. Linsay Wise, a reporter for the Houston Chronicle talked to one family as the preparation for departure day neared.
"Debra Koym-Kirton spent the day crying in bed after her first son left for Marine Corps boot camp in San Diego. By the time her second son went to California a year later to become a Marine, too, Koym-Kirton knew what to expect and managed to hold it together. But nothing can prepare her for what's coming next: Both young men — her only two children - are headed to Afghanistan with 1st Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment, a reserve unit headquartered at Houston's Ellington Field. "When I found out they were going together, the same place, the same time, same company, same platoon, I was hysterical," Koym-Kirton said.
|The Henrichsen Brothers enjoying Mom's cooking|
"It's actually pretty cool," Bobby said. "Every time we're together, it reminds me of home. He's there if I need talking to, more than I guess if it were just my best friend or someone, and it's a lot easier to talk to him than it would be other people." "He can watch over me, and I can watch over him," Cody said. "And then at the same time, there's a comfort level that, you know, there's still family here. Other people don't really have all that."
I have a call into the public affairs office of the Iowa National Guard to find out the numbers we might be talking about with their deployment. As soon as those numbers become available, I will be updating this blog. I think those figures might prove very interesting. On a side note, I can see why Mrs. Henrichsen was overcome with emotion with the thought of her only two sons being deployed at the same time. I said, I can see why, but I'd just as soon, not experience that myself.
I mentioned last week, "My Father's Voice" had been visited by readers from 16 different countries. Ooooppps. Wrong there. Actually the number was seventeen. I forgot New Zealand. And yesterday, we had a visit from Israel. How cool is that?
And speaking of cool. Did you see Staff Sgt. Savlatore Giunta at the Super Bowl in Dallas? Coming back from a commercial break during the third quarter of the Pittsburgh Steeler-Green Bay Packer game, the house PA directed everyone's attention to the end zone where he was standing. Millions upon millions saw the image of a man that reflects our country's commitment to freedom. What a fitting send-off for our Medal of Honor recipient. Congratulations again on your decision to retire from military life and your commitment to "making a difference" going ahead. Job well done, Staff Sgt. Giunta.