CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE SPEICHER, Iraq — Deployments usually separate Soldiers from their families. However, for one Red Bull Soldier, it provided the chance to reunite with her brother.
Sgt. Andrea Wieseler, a telecommunications sergeant with the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, hadn't seen her brother, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Heath Wieseler, in more than two years. Heath, a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter pilot, is deployed to Contingency Operating Base Speicher with Company B, 2nd Battalion, 10th Aviation Regiment, 10th Mountain Division.
Andrea's supervisors allowed her to take some time to meet up with her brother.
"I have been waiting for this since the day I arrived in Iraq," Andrea said.
Although Heath knew there would be a possibility Andrea would get the opportunity to come up and see him, she surprised him early. He was on a mission to drop off passengers at Camp Liberty in Baghdad. At the last moment, he was informed he was to pick up passengers to take back to COB Speicher, not knowing one of those passengers was his sister.
They flew to COB Speicher and after Heath landed the helicopter, they greeted each other with a hug and the emotions started to flow.
"It caught me by surprise when I looked back to see her get on the helicopter," Heath said.
It turned out they were able to spend a few days to catch up on old times and have some great laughs.
"Everything worked out perfect," said Andrea. "I was so happy to have him pick me up in his helicopter; he is a real hero to me."
Heath has traveled a lot in his 16 years of active duty. Military training and travel have prevented him from returning to his hometown of Howard Lake, Minn., to see his family.
"It was so great to have Andrea around," Heath said. "It was nice to be with family, someone you can share common things and talk about family back in Minnesota."
The two of them spent time talking, laughing and sharing events of the past two years. Heath talked about his wife Geri and sons Tyler and Trevor, while Andrea shared her experiences of the deployment so far and the friendships she has made.
"I was so excited; it was a dream come true," Andrea said. "I waited a long time for this."