Red Bulls patrol area around COP Najil

LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan - U.S. Army Capt. Jason Merchant, the company commander of Company A, 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment, Task Force Ironman from Dysart, Iowa, hands out cards Dec. (click for more)

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Iowa town showers small Afghan school with supplies

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BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Sgt. Shawn Fouste, Decatur, Ill., noncommissioned officer in charge of the Freedom Restoration Center with the 455th Expeditionary Wing, Task Force Med, plays with (click for more)

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LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Pvt. Kevin Nieves (right), a member of the Laghman Provincial Reconstruction Team security forces, pins the Purple Heart on his father, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Brian Willette, Foxtrot Company, 1st Battalion, 102nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team squad leader, at Forward Operating Base Mehtar Lam here Oct. 28. Willette earned his Purple Heart when his truck hit an improvised explosive device during one of his regular missions. Father and son hail from Springfield, Mass. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Ronifel S. Yasay, Laghman Provincial Reconstruction Team)LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Some 19-year olds bond with their fathers by going fishing. Some bond with their fathers by just calling home and having a conversation. But very few will ever share the bond that comes from pinning on a fathers purple heart in a combat zone

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Brian Willette, Foxtrot Company, 1st Battalion, 102nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team squad leader, had the chance of a lifetime to have his son U.S. Army Pvt. Kevin Nieves, Laghman Provincial Reconstruction Team security forces member, pin on his Purple Heart during a ceremony on Forward Operating Base Mehtar Lam here Oct. 28.

 

 “I was so proud and honored to have been here for my dad to award him his Purple Heart,” said Nieves who hails from Springfield, Mass.

 

Willette, also from Springfield, earned his Purple Heart when his truck was hit by an improvised explosive device during one of his regular missions.

 

He was finishing his nine-month tour at FOB Mehtar Lam as Nieves was gearing up to start his time at the same FOB, allowing them the opportunity to spend some quality father-son time together for a few days.

 

“I’m just so amazed that he was 10 when the towers came down,” said Willette. “And now, nine years later, he is proudly serving his country. I’m so happy we got to do it together.”

 

Nieves joined the Army 16 years after his father and had the privilege of his father coming home during leave to put on his blue infantryman cord at basic training.

 

“I saw how honored and proud my father was to be in the Army and how he would carry himself, and I decided that, that is what I want to be like, that’s what I want for myself, to live out the Army values, just as my dad does,” said Nieves.

 

Not only does he have a son serving in the military, Willette has a daughter, U.S. Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Christine Willette, serving in public health for the 104th Fire Wing of the Massachusetts ANG.

 

“She was the first of us to have seen indirect fire,” said Willette. “Needless to say, we were all a little envious of her.”

 

Willette will be heading back to the States to resume his role as an Army parent, supporting from the sidelines.

 

“I’m glad to be heading home,” he said. “Now I’m just another concerned parent who knows my son will probably be driving over that same spot where my truck got hit many times before he comes home.”

 LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Brian Willette (left), Foxtrot Company, 1st Battalion, 102nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team squad leader, jokes with his son, U.S. Army Pvt. Kevin Nieves, a member of the Laghman Provincial Reconstruction Team security forces, prior to having his Purple Heart pinned by his son in a ceremony at Forward Operating Base Mehtar Lam here Oct. 28. Willette earned his Purple Heart when his truck hit an improvised explosive device during one of his regular missions. Father and son hail from Springfield, Mass. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Ronifel S. Yasay, Laghman Provincial Reconstruction Team)LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Pvt. Kevin Nieves (left), a member of the Laghman Provincial Reconstruction Team security forces, poses with his father, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Brian Willette, Foxtrot Company, 1st Battalion, 102nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team squad leader, after having the honor of pinning the Purple Heart medal on his father’s uniform at Forward Operating Base Mehtar Lam here Oct. 28. Willette earned his Purple Heart when his truck hit an improvised explosive device during one of his regular missions. Father and son hail from Springfield, Mass. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Ronifel S. Yasay, Laghman Provincial Reconstruction Team)

Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 November 2010 18:03
 

    

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