News: Deployment offers siblings second chance to meet
Story by Tech. Sgt. Rachel Martinez
TRANSIT CENTER AT MANAS, Kyrgyzstan – With military service often a family tradition, it's not unusual to hear about two relatives serving together or crossing paths in deployments, especially at Transit Center at Manas where nearly all troops deploying in or out of Afghanistan pass through.
For one airman here, the Transit Center offered him a chance to meet his sister for only the second time in his life.
Staff Sgt. Darvin Johnson, assigned to the 376th Expeditionary Communications Squadron, first learned of his younger sister, Angel Hall, in 2004 while attending college. He made contact with her; however, it wasn't until 2011 that the two first met in person.
"I had just returned from deployment and I took my family down to Fort Campbell to meet her," Johnson said. "I was nervous, but the elephant in the room went away real soon."
Since their initial meeting, the siblings have kept in close contact. When Johnson learned that Hall, a sergeant in the U.S. Army, was deploying to Afghanistan he was hopeful that he would get a chance to see her again. Hall soon learned she would indeed be passing through the Transit Center while Johnson was assigned here.
"I didn't think I'd get to see him," Hall said. "I thought the Transit Center was going to be huge place with tons of people everywhere."
Johnson tracked Hall's incoming flight and was able to meet up with her twice in the less than 24 hours she was on the ground at the Transit Center.
"I was so excited," Johnson said. "I was like a little kid starting school. I've been telling everyone about seeing my sister."
Hall said she was equally excited to see her brother. She laughs at the number of messages he sent her leading up to her arrival at the Transit Center.
"She probably gets tired of me always messaging her," Johnson said. "But I'm trying to make up for lost time."
Both siblings hope time goes by quickly as Hall is just starting a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan with the 801st Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team. They are planning a family vacation upon her return.
"I've met his wife and kids, but I was pregnant with my son when we first met," Hall said. "We want to get our families together and do some bonding."