CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan --
Allen Rader’s service to the Air Force took his family from their home in Charleston, W.Va., to Alaska, Arizona, and Florida. Even overseas.
Years later, two of his children, Eric and Rebecca, find themselves overseas. The siblings serve together at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan.
“We always had each other,” said Eric Rader, a U.S. Marine Corps sergeant, who deployed to Afghanistan in February. “Looking back at it now I really appreciate having her and my brother, and appreciate serving with her now.”
Eric’s sister, U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Rebecca McHenry, arrived in Afghanistan in September. The siblings said they’ve had a lot to catch up on in Afghanistan – including Rebecca’s wedding.
“We both have our own families now,” said Rader. “We will definitely spend more time together when we get back home.”
McHenry serves in Afghanistan with the U.S. Air Force’s 651st Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron. Her squadron flies injured troops out of Afghanistan when the medical care they need is greater than military hospitals here can provide.
“I love being able to help those who need it most and keep brave troops alive,” said McHenry.
“There is a great sense of pride in knowing that my sister helps my fellow Marines and other troops get back on their feet and home to their loved ones,” said Rader.
Rader is deployed with 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C. He serves with the headquarters of the air combat element for NATO’s International Security Assistance Force southwestern regional command, and helps units rotating in and out of Afghanistan.
“I am very proud of my brother for being a Marine,” said McHenry. “I like knowing that he does a great job, and I see the fruits of his labor seeing all the Marines walking around in Afghanistan knowing he played a small part in that.”
Despite the rigors of a deployment to Afghanistan, Rader and McHenry said they find time to speak about their lives and families back home almost every day.
“My sister is always sitting at the dining facility waiting for me at lunch,” said Rader. “It makes the time go by faster, having something to look forward to almost every day.”
“He used to pick on me sometimes,” said McHenry of her brother. “Since being out here he has only been protective. The perfect gentlemen.”