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    CJTF - HOA deployment brings siblings together

    CJTF - HOA deployment brings siblings together

    Photo By Spc. Emily Held | Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa Public Affairs Photojournalist U.S Army...... read more read more



    Story by Spc. Jalen Miller 

    Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa

    Every year thousands of Service Members are deployed across the globe pulling them away from friends and loved ones. But some service members get the unique opportunity to deploy alongside their family members.

    U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Katie Theusch, the Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) Public Affairs productions noncommissioned officer in charge, and her brother, Master Sgt. Daniel Eggers, CJTF-HOA strategy and plans senior enlisted leader, are both deployed to Camp Lemonnier in support of the CJTF-HOA mission to promote defense, diplomacy, and development within the Horn of Africa.

    The two have spent a lot of time together while they have been overseas and have found they see each other more on deployment than they did back home. For Theusch, having her brother close by has been a great source of support.

    “We've got each other's backs and it's just cool to see that we're able to support the same mission when we're halfway across the world from our family,” said Theusch.

    Theusch emphasized that having her brother here gives her someone to rely on and talk to, which is essential to a service member’s well-being while on deployment.

    Although they’ve served in the same unit for some time, there’s been little overlap until now.

    “Through our careers, we haven’t ever really crossed paths so it’s interesting deploying together,” said Eggers.

    Eggers joked about how it’s harder to get away from his sister when he is stuck on base with her.

    “I have to talk to her a little more. I can't just not go to the family events,” he said.

    While Theusch and Eggers have several deployments between them, U.S. Army Spc. Emily Held, the CJTF-HOA Public Affairs photojournalist, is experiencing deployment life for the first time. And like Theusch, she gets to do so with her brother.

    Held was inspired to join the military after her brother, U.S. Army Sgt. Justin Held, enlisted in the Wisconsin National Guard.

    “He's basically the reason I joined the military in the beginning. So to say that I went on a deployment with my brother, my first deployment, is pretty cool,” she said.

    The National Guard allowed the Held siblings to join the same deployment and spend their nine months in Djibouti just a few minutes away from each other. One of the upsides for them has been spending special days together.

    “For his birthday, I got to go off base and get a cake for him. I lit a candle and dropped it on his desk.” she said. “It's just little stuff like that. That makes it nice to have your family here because, you know, he won’t have to celebrate it alone.”

    Being able to celebrate, work, and serve as a family helped Held feel a little less homesick during her stay on Camp Lemonnier.

    “I am very grateful that I got to deploy with my brother because I know a lot of people don't get to see their family members, especially on deployment,” said Held. “But it has been a great experience, and I couldn't have done it without him.”


    Date Taken: 07.20.2023
    Date Posted: 07.23.2023 04:59
    Story ID: 449601
    Location: CAMP LEMONNIER, DJ

    Web Views: 146
    Downloads: 1