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    Two sets of Guard siblings reconnect during unlikely overseas visit

    Platinum Wolf 17

    Photo By Spc. Emilie Sheridan | Army Spc. Mackenzie Crawford, a military police officer with the 585th Military Police...... read more read more

    SOUTH BASE, SERBIA

    06.24.2017

    Story by Spc. Emilie Sheridan 

    196th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    As the young, female Soldier stands in the small café here, making small talk and drinking a coffee, you can tell by her calm nature and mundane conversation that she has no idea of the surprise in store for her today. Suddenly the sounds of a helicopter rip through the mostly quiet café as the excitement is about to unfold.

    Spc. Mackenzie Crawford, a military police Soldier with the 585th Military Police Company, is on South Base, Serbia for Platinum Wolf, an annual, two-week, multinational exercise focused on peacekeeping operations. Her brother, Spc. Matthew Crawford, with Headquarters, 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, happens to be deployed to Kosovo for a peacekeeping operation at the same time, only about an hour and a half drive away from his sister, even though they are both hundreds of miles away from home back in Ohio.

    She quickly walks to the doors of the café with Sgt. Vanessa Gazerk, another MP with the 585th. Gazerk’s sister, Spc. Kelsey Gazerk, is deployed with Crawford’s brother Matthew. They peer out the doors and are encouraged by others to walk outside to check out the excitement generated from the helicopter landing. While the two MPs gawk at the helicopter landing, a military vehicle convoy comes onto South Base and parks on the other side of the café, which goes unnoticed in the midst of all the activity. After the excitement from the helicopter is over, the two MPs head inside to finish their coffee. However, the excitement really isn’t over yet. Once inside, the Soldiers from the convoy that just arrived saunter up to the door of the café and begin pouring in.

    Among the group is Matthew and Kelsey. Mackenzie lets out a scream when she realizes her brother has just walked in the small Serbian café. They embrace each other in a tight hug as tears trickle from Mackenzie’s eyes. Her hands shake as she releases her brother from her grasp.

    “My mind blanked as soon as I saw him,” Mackenzie admits after she’s had a moment to let the reality sink in. “I was surprised, because I was told it wasn’t going to happen!”

    For weeks leading up to Platinum Wolf, Vanessa had been in contact with her chain of command about the possibility of arranging a meeting of the two sets of siblings, however she told Mackenzie that the plans had fallen though so she would be surprised.

    “It was great, because I just spoke with her about a week ago on the phone and she was telling me that some of our guys were coming down here and I acted like I had no idea,” smiled Matthew, “but the whole time I knew. It was really great to be able to come and surprise her. We haven’t seen each other in a long time.”

    Matthew and Kelsey deployed with the 37th IBCT in August 2016 and hadn’t seen any of their family members until now. Their units’ leadership worked to reunite them since they would be so close to each other for these two weeks during Platinum Wolf. “Thank you command team!” shouted the four giggling siblings, elated to be reunited.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 06.24.2017
    Date Posted: 06.21.2018 09:01
    Story ID: 260944
    Location: SOUTH BASE, RS

    Web Views: 95
    Downloads: 1

    PUBLIC DOMAIN