|BALAD AIR BASE, Iraq, June 12, 2007 — An Air Force mechanic got a chance for a family reunion during his deployment recently when his younger brother was passing through with his Army unit.
The chance opportunity occurred just before the airman’s unit finished its rotation and goes back to Misawa Air Base, Japan. The soldier is here temporarily before his unit moves onto Camp Victory, Iraq, where he will spend the next eight months.
It’s been more than two years since Staff Sgt. Samuel Martin last saw his brother. The F-16 Fighting Falcon aerospace propulsion craftsman and Hobart, Ind., native, met up with his younger brother, Army Sgt. Paul Martin, a satellite imagery specialist with the 3rd Brigade, 1st Calvary Division out of Fort Hood, Texas.
“We e-mail each other about once a week, so I knew he was coming to the area,” said Samuel of the 14th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Unit at Balad Air Base. “I really hoped he was going to pass through, so I gave him my phone number here, and he called me when he got to Kuwait.”
Samuel has been in the Air Force six years, and Paul has served in the Army for three.
Along with an older brother who served in the Marines, the two chose their respective services based on their interest in certain career fields. All three joined after their high school graduation. They follow in the tradition of an Army grandfather who served in World War I and a father who was a combat Marine in Vietnam.
“I always wanted to work on jets, so the Air Force was a natural choice,” Samuel said. “Paul was interested in computers and tried to join the Air Force, but there were no cool jobs open at the time, so he enlisted in the Army instead.”
Both servicemembers said they often rib each other about their service choices, but admit they get to share interesting stories with each other.
The two spent their day touring the base, watching movies and taking a trip to the flightline, where Samuel showed his brother what he does for the Air Force.