News: All in the family: Father accompanies son to Afghanistan
Story by Spc. Monica K. Smith
There are many stories of soldiers who meet up with family members while serving overseas, few, however, feature family members who serve in the same company. For Townsend, Del., native U.S. Army Sgt. Jason Hudgins, crew chief in Company A, “Misfits,” 3rd Battalion, 238th Aviation Regiment, Delaware National Guard, attached to Task Force Knighthawk, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, TF Falcon, serving in Afghanistan meant deploying and serving in the same company alongside his father, U.S. Army Spc. Dale Hudgins.
“I see him almost every day,” said Jason. “It’s nice to have him here because when I have questions or problems, he gives me good advice.”
Dale, an airframe mechanic, was originally part of the Delaware National Guard’s medevac company, but when Jason’s company, A Co., 3-238th Avn., was called upon to deploy, Dale was asked if he would go to provide maintenance support.
“Last August, I was asked if I’d go, and I told them I would,” said Dale, originally from Wilmington, Del. “It’s nice to be here with him because, during his deployment to Iraq, if I heard something on the news about a helicopter going down I would worry since I knew he flew on helicopters. But now, if something happens, I immediately know about it, and that puts me at ease.”
For Jason, being able to see his father often has helped him have an easier deployment than his first one to Iraq.
“When I was in Iraq, it was incredibly overwhelming,” said Jason. “I was 20 years old then, and it was the first time I was away from my parents for an entire year. So, having my father here is comforting.”
During the deployment, Jason and Dale work only a minute from one another, making it easy for them to find time to spend together or meet up for a meal.
“He’ll come see me while I’m working on sheet metal, or I’ll go and talk with him while he’s working on the aircraft,” said Dale. “We eat together often. In fact, on Father’s Day, Jason took me to eat at the dining facility. It’s been nice to have him here with me.”