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    Time means nothing in Army friendship

    Time means nothing in Army friendship

    Photo By Capt. Briana McFarland | CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait – U.S. Army Staff Sgt Robert Morneau (right), a crew chief...... read more read more

    CAMP TAJI MILITARY COMPLEX, Iraq – Soldiers assigned to the 449th Combat Aviation Brigade traveled more than 6,300 miles in order to support Operations Inherent Resolve and Spartan Shield from November 2017 to August 2018.

    For 24-year veteran Sgt. 1st Class Giovanni Ford, the 449th CAB Headquarters and Headquarters Company supply sergeant and Staff Sgt. Robert Morneau, a crew chief assigned to the 1st Battalion, 126th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion) this deployment held a great surprise.

    Ford said he ran into quite a few National Guard colleagues from various states but the real treat was reconnecting with a childhood friend Morneau.

    “The Army is a small world,” said Ford. “Running into Staff Sgt. Morneau was the icing on the cake. I haven't seen him in 30 years!”

    Both non-commissioned officers are natives of a Smyrna, Delaware and met while participating in various community-based events.

    “We grew up in a very small town where everybody knew each other,” said Ford. “There were church events, social events, the 4-H club, boy scots, Little League Baseball, Pop Warner [Youth] football, and tons of school events."

    Ford graduated one year prior to his comrade and decided to join the Armed Forces.

    “The Navy had more opportunity,” said Ford. “At the time the Army was only offering certain MOS [Military Occupational Specialties] choices, and I wasn't interested in any they were offering.”

    Ford said he completed nine years in the Navy. After a long break in service, a family friend convinced him to join the Army National Guard.

    “One of my parents’ neighbor's was a N.C. Guard recruiter, and told me about joining at a function,” said Ford. “The rest is history!”

    Even though they took different career paths, military forces led them back to each other’s circle. The 449th CAB was selected for active service and completed its mobilization training at Fort Hood and Fort Sill simultaneously.

    Morneau said he was attending aerial gunnery training at Fort Sill and was working through a supply issue, which led him straight to Ford’s area of operations.

    “When I asked for his first name, and the Soldier said Giovanni a light bulb went off,” said Morneau [thinking to himself, there couldn’t be two].

    He said after some due diligence using Facebook, he confirmed it was indeed his childhood companion.

    “It was pretty surreal,” said Morneau. “I mean I joined the Army at 18, and Gio joined the Navy. We both had long breaks in service before ending up back in the Army Guard, and in different states.”

    Since reconnecting and catching up on old times with each other, these two 30 plus year friends continue to speak highly of each other.

    “What I remember most about SFC Ford is his being the life of the party,” said Morneau. “Everyone knew Gio. It seems from what I’ve observed, that much has not changed, which is a good trait in his career field.”

    “SSG Morneau was always a witty person and had a strong opinion,” said Ford. “He always stuck to his word. If he told you he was going to help, he would whether it was good or bad.”

    They also strongly emphasized how important their family support system is.

    “This deployment and my previous deployment wouldn't have been mentally possible without a strong family support system in place,” said Ford.

    “This is also my wife Sue’s fourth deployment,” said Morneau. “By that I mean we’ve been together through Iraq, Afghanistan, And Kuwait twice now. She’s the one that’s dealt with all the things back home that don’t stop just because I’m deployed. She deserves the credit for me being able to do what I do.”

    Now that the two comrades have re-crossed paths across the world, Morneau looks to hearing about his comrade’s journey.

    “All in all I guess I was really looking forward to hearing how after all these years he ended up in this trip with me,” said Morneau.



    Date Taken: 08.28.2018
    Date Posted: 08.27.2018 17:42
    Story ID: 290505
    Location: KW

    Web Views: 124
    Downloads: 1