News: Siblings reunite in Afghanistan
Story by Staff Sgt. Ray Kokel
KANDAHAR Airfield, Afghanistan— Its one big Army family as soldiers from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 15th Sustainment Brigade “Wagonmasters” reunited with their siblings from the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade.
During a deployment families typically separate for months at a time which can be extremely difficult for their families back home. However, the Gogan family, of Readfield, Maine, and the Hilliard/Burney family, of Biloxi, Miss., can take comfort in knowing their children were able to spend at least a little time together, even though they were thousands of miles from home.
1st Lt. Terance Gogan and his brother, Sgt. Kabary Gogan, deployed to Afghanistan at different times, but were able to see each other before Kabary headed back to Hunter Army Airfield.
Terance serves as an adjutant general with HHC, 15th SB. He is currently stationed at KAF, about 300 miles Southwest of Kabul, and was fortunate enough to get together with his brother Kabary who serves as an avionic mechanic with Delta Troop, 3rd Squadron 17th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division.
Terance found out his brother was at KAF on Facebook. When Terance left Fort Bliss for his deployment he made arrangements with his brother Kabary to meet up once he arrived.
“It was great being able to see him,” Terance said. “It has been awhile since we last met because our military life interfered with us reuniting during the holidays.”
The two had not seen each other in three-years when Terence swore his brother in the Army at the New England Recruiting Battalion.
Also in the same brigades are two sisters from Biloxi, Miss., who also had the opportunity to come together at KAF.
“I was amazed when I heard the news,” Terance said. “Come on, what are the odds to have two different families coming from the same units meet up in Afghanistan at the same time?”
Chief Warrant Officer Charmaine L. Hilliard, who works in the same office as 1st Lt. Gogan, also has a younger sibling in the 3rd CAB. Her sister Spc. Charita N. Burney is a personnel specialist and has been in the Army for just under two years.
“This was my third deployment and my little sisters first, so I wanted to look out for her when I got here,” said Hilliard. “In reality she took care of me by helping me get settled in.”
Both of the younger siblings credit their older siblings for them joining the Army.
“I wanted to be like my big sister,” Burney said. “I even plan to become a warrant officer in the AG field too after I make Staff Sergeant.”
“AG all the way, Hooah!” said Hilliard.
The two families spent time catching up at the Monti dining facility and Afghan Coffee shop at KAF. They spent most of their time talking about shared military experiences, recapping childhood memories and how their families were doing back home.
Sgt. Gogan and Spc. Burney are at the end of their nine-month deployment and 1st Lt. Gogan and Chief Warrant Officer Hilliard are at the beginning of theirs, this left only a small window for them to spend time together. Understanding this, the siblings were thankful for the time they did share together.