Thursday, October 25, 2007

TOP STORY >>Mother, son reunite in Iraq

By Senior Airman Travis Edwards
332nd Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

BALAD AIR BASE, Iraq — Deploying to a strange and unfamiliar base for the first time can be difficult. Throw in parting with your four-month old son for the next four months of his life, and it’s enough to make a grown man cry.

Such is the case for one senior airman deployed from Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., except he has a shoulder to lean on, his mom.

Senior Airman Owen Brickell, a sheet metal fabricator with the 332nd Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron here, spends most of his weeks fabricating replacement parts for damaged structures on aircraft, but what would normally be a day off running on the treadmill by himself, turns into a day he and his mom can spend bonding.

“It’s reassuring to have my mom here with me. If I need to talk to someone about anything, she is right there for me, and I appreciate her for that,” said Airman Brickell.

His mom, a reservist stationed at Youngstown Air Reserve Station, Ohio, already had orders to Iraq when she heard the news of her son.

“We already knew I had orders to spend four months in Iraq,” said Maj. Brenda Owen, Airman Brickell’s mother and an emergency room nurse at the Air Force Theater Hospital. “But we weren’t sure when or if Owen was coming at all.”

Major Owen is the night shift head nurse for the 332nd Expeditionary Medical Group, helping save lives almost everyday.
Amazingly, it worked out for the two. “It was hard to leave my wife and new son, but knowing that my mom was going to be there a month after me gave me something to look forward to,” he said.

Ironically, the mother and son see more of each other in Iraq than they have in years.

Airman Brickell is scheduled to redeploy this month, where he will leave someone he loves, to find comfort again in the embrace of his wife and child.


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