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Sgt. Brennen Carter, (left, U.S. Army photo) stationed at Camp Eggers in Kabul, Afghanistan, takes the oath of re-enlistment from his father, Lt. Col. Bryan Carter, stationed at Camp Taji, Iraq, via teleconference. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Nicholas Conner

U.S. Army Sgt. Brennen Carter
U.S. Army Lt. Col. Bryan Carter

Dad Re-enlists Son Via Teleconferencing

By Sgt. 1st Class Nicholas Conner
15th Sustainment Brigade Public Affair
CAMP TAJI, Iraq, April 25, 2007 — When the time came for U.S. Army Sgt. Brennen Carter to re-enlist for six more years of Army service, he needed an officer to conduct the oath.

The heavy equipment transport driver from Chillicothe, Mo. chose a man whose leadership and guidance he’s been following since birth: his father, Lt. Col. Bryan Carter.
           
“My dad has been my hero; I look up to him,” said Brennen. “If anybody was going to re-enlist me, it would be my father.”

Being separated by one country, two mountain ranges, and more than 1,500 miles did not deter either man from making the ceremony. Thanks to video teleconferencing, the younger Carter, stationed on Camp Eggers in Kabul, Afghanistan, and the elder, on Camp Taji, Iraq, stood face to face.             

“I'm very proud of him,” said the colonel. “He’s continuing a family tradition that started with his great-grandfather, back in the trenches of World War I.”

Four generations of the Carter family have volunteered for service to the nation. Bryan’s father served in Korea, his siblings have worn the uniform, and he now serves as the personnel officer for the 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary).

The younger Carter joined the Missouri National Guard his junior year of high school and completed his basic training the summer before his senior year. His father joined the guard just three days after his graduation from the same high school in Milan, Mo.
           
“I was scared to death,” he laughed. “I can only imagine what he felt ... especially since he went split-option.”
           
For the sergeant, deployment to Afghanistan is his first time overseas. Growing up an Army brat, he lived life watching his father pack to leave. Now, he has a better understanding of what his dad has done.       
           
“There have been a lot of times I couldn’t see him,” he said. “It’s been great to be able to share this with my dad.”
           
Dad couldn’t be prouder. He said his son is an enthusiastic spokesman for the Missouri National Guard and the military in general. Even at a young age, he said, he has been an outstanding supporter. With his passion and drive, his influence prompted 20 to 30 others to join.
           
“I wanted to serve my country longer,” said Brennen on his six-year commitment. “I love being in the Army and the National Guard.”
           
The two talked and joked together, each watching the other from opposite sides of the war. When the elder Carter teased his son about needing half of his re-enlistment bonus, the younger countered with some words about the pay difference between sergeant and officer.

“But if he needs it,” he grinned, “he can have it.

Last Updated:
04/25/2007, Eastern Daylight Time
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