Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Families tied by war: Brothers in arms cross paths in Afghanistan

Written by Air Force Staff Sgt. Rachel M. Martinez 455th AEW Public Affairs
Monday, 28 July 2008

BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan (July 27, 2008) — Twenty-one year old Senior Airman Matthew Delgado made one last trip home before deploying in May. He was set to deploy to Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, and didn’t expect to see his family for months. Half-way into his deployment rotation, he was surprised when someone knocked on his barracks door and told him his brother was waiting for him at the PX here.

Army Pfc. Jerin Delgado, 26, arrived at Bagram July 18 with the 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, out of Fort Hood, Texas, as they transitioned to a forward operating base in the region. The two brothers, from Cedar Hill, Texas, were able to spend a few days together catching up.

“Of all places to run into your family -- on the other side of the world in Afghanistan -- how often does that happen?” said the Airman. “I felt a little closer to home when my brother came.”

Senior Airman Delgado is deployed to the 455th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron here. Even though he is scheduled to deploy to Iraq in 2009, he volunteered for this deployment.

“I wanted to do my part in the war against terror. I deployed here to [provide] force protection,” said Airman Delgado, who performs F-16 maintenance inspections at his home station, Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base, Fort Worth, Texas. “I feel my mission is very important over here. We are the first line of defense for this base.”

Private First Class Delgado is a combat medic, providing care to injured Soldiers on the front lines. Despite his brother’s dangerous job, Senior Airman Delgado said he doesn’t worry too much.

“We both try not to think about it, because that makes things worse,” he said. “I know my brother knows his job very well and I think that he will be fine.”

Likewise, Pfc. Delgado believes his brother can hold his own. “If anything happened, I know he could handle it,” he said.

Along with being brothers in different armed services, comes some rivalry.

“[We have] all the normal older brother [versus] younger brother rivalry,” said Senior Airman Delgado. “I think it is standard across the board. Of course Army and Air Force – we all know of the rivalry there – but it is all in fun.”

Rivalry aside, the Delgado brothers said they both signed up to serve their country – and that’s what they are doing here with the added perk of serving together.

No comments: