War on Terrorism

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Face of Defense: Siblings’ Paths Cross During Deployment

By Air Force Senior Airman Jackie Sanders
451st Air Expeditionary Wing

KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan, Oct. 22, 2013 – Regardless of what drove them to service, one benefit of having family in the military is the rare opportunity that allows family members to serve with one another.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Alexandra Becerra and her brother, Air Force Senior Airman Andrew Murillo, spend some downtime together on the boardwalk at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Sept. 7, 2013. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jackie Sanders

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
For Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Alexandra Becerra and her brother, Air Force Senior Airman Andrew Murillo, being deployed here together was something they’d planned.

“I think in January 2012, I was up for orders to go to a new command, and my detailer said that I could volunteer to come out here, and I figured it would be pretty cool to come here at least once before we pull out,” Becerra said. “I just wanted to get this under my belt, so I volunteered to come here.”

Murillo said he was able to switch from a deployment to a different Southwest Asia location to be here.

The two siblings met up here toward the end of Becerra’s tour and the beginning of Murillo’s time, and they made the effort during their overlap to catch up. Becerra works in medical logistics, and Murillo is an aerial porter with the 451st Air Expeditionary Wing.

“Today is both of our days off, so we’re going to hang out,” Becerra said.

Murillo and Becerra agreed that sharing a deployment and being part of the military is a unique experience that they both enjoy.

“It’s definitely cool, and it’s a privilege, because when we’re older we can look back and say, ‘Hey, we served together.’ It’ll be a nice story to tell the kids someday,” Becerra said.

“Especially our younger sisters,” Murillo added. “They look up to us, and now I have a couple of buddies asking me questions because they want to join now, too.”

While they said they worry about each other’s safety at times, the military siblings said, the company of family makes their deployments more palatable.

“You’ve got to make it fun out here,” Murillo said. “But, it’s weird, because with her here it almost feels like we’re at home sometimes.”

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