BAGRAM, Afghanistan – Spc. Miranda A. Mogg was in the fourth grade, and Pfc. Peter D. Marshall Jr., the third grade, when terrorists hijacked commercial jets and crashed them into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, 2001. Although at the time neither of them was quite old enough to understand the significance of the attack, the war on terrorism has been a major part of their lives ever since.
“It’s something our generation has grown up with,” Mogg said. “We’d hear about it on the news every day.”
Both Soldiers – the former, a brigade intelligence analyst, and the latter, a CH-47 Chinook helicopter repairer and crew chief – grew up with their fathers serving in the U.S. Army. Growing up, both recall periods of separation from their dads because of deployments and training commitments.
Now, Mogg and Marshall find themselves deployed with their fathers to Afghanistan with 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, supporting the war that was launched nearly 12 years ago in response to the 9/11 attacks.
Chief Warrant Officer 5 Michael A. Mogg, the brigade’s master gunner and an OH-58 Kiowa pilot, and Staff Sgt. Peter D. Marshall Sr., an AH-64 Apache helicopter technical inspector, expect this to be their last deployment. Both are pleased with the opportunity to be with their child during their first deployment.
While the Moggs work in the same building at Bagram Airfield, the Marshalls are assigned to different locations, the younger at Forward Operating Base Fenty in Nangarhar Province and the senior at Bagram Airfield. Continue reading to learn how these Soldiers are making the best of this unique experience and what it means to them.
In her father’s footsteps:10th CAB father, daughter together deploy to Afghanistan
Staff Sgt. Todd Pouliot
10th Combat Aviation Brigade PAO NCOIC
While growing up, Spc. Miranda A. Mogg had spent a considerable amount of time away from her father, a U.S. Army helicopter pilot, due to his numerous training events, multiple changes in assignments and four deployments. After following in her parents’ footsteps – her mother Marie also was a Soldier – and enlisting in the Army and then serving a yearlong tour in Korea, she and her father are now serving together with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade.
After 29 years in the Army, Chief Warrant Officer 5 Michael A. Mogg was considering retirement, but when the opportunity arose for him and his daughter to be assigned to the same company, he decided to postpone retirement for one more deployment: his fifth, her first.
“It’s surreal,” Miranda Mogg said. “I grew up with him always away, and now I get a chance to be out there.”
Mogg serves as master gunner for 10th CAB as well as an OH-58 Kiowa helicopter pilot. His daughter, who arrived at Fort Drum in November, serves as an analyst with the unit’s intelligence section. Her work directly influences the planning of the flight routes of the brigade’s pilots, including those of her father.
“For once, she gets to tell me what to do,” the senior Mogg said with a smile.
As much as they are enjoying the experience of deploying together, they both know the seriousness of their roles. With Miranda Mogg working in the brigade tactical operations center and her father a pilot, she could be among the first to know if her father is involved in a catastrophic incident.
“We’ve talked about it,” he said. “We have to talk about it. It is a possibility. Let’s hope this one goes as (well) as the last four.”
The biggest difference in what Mogg had expected about the deployment has been the heightened sense of reality from knowing the specific locations her father is flying.
“I read about all the places he goes,” she said. “It’s a little more real now.”
Since her father is a senior warrant officer in the brigade, he is rather well-known, and in turn, so is his daughter. Miranda Mogg jokes that she should have gotten married first so she would have a different name.
Although she said she joined the Army to have a career for herself and to move around, she notes that it was her father, whom she calls her hero, who inspired her.
Before the deployment, Mogg, who lived in the barracks, said she joined her parents nearly every evening for dinner. Now, when their schedules allow, father and daughter make time to work out together at the gym and grab a bite to eat at the dining facility.
“We missed a year with her when she was in Korea,” Mogg said. “It’s good to be able to catch up.”
Catching up will be a bit easier this deployment.
A rare rendezvous: Father, son duo deploy with 10th CAB
Second Lt. Sean R. Crawford
Deployments are a tough time for many military Families, and for good reason. For nine months or more they are separated and unable to share in the great times that American life offers to so many others. It’s hard, and only when the Soldiers get off the plane and return to their loved ones does the absence of their significant others truly go away.
Every once in a while, however, an opportunity presents itself that makes home for some Soldiers seem less far away – a situation where two Soldiers are able to serve their nation in the same country, the same region, and the same unit as father and son.
Staff Sgt. Peter Marshall Sr. and Pfc. Pe-ter Marshall Jr. of 10th Combat Aviation Brigade are one such duo who will get an opportunity to spend nine months together in Afghanistan and share a unique bond that most Family Members will never have.
“It’s pretty cool,” said the younger Marshall, a CH-47 Chinook helicopter maintainer and crew chief with B Company, 3rd General Support Aviation Battalion, 10th CAB. “Not many people get to say that they deployed with their dad.”
His father agreed.
“It’s the best feeling in the world knowing that this is his first deployment and my last one and we get to share it together,” said Marshall, an AH-64 Apache helicopter technical inspector with B Company, 277th Aviation Support Battalion, 10th CAB. “Over the years, I haven’t had as much time to spend with him due to the deployments and other requirements of the Army. Now we are here together and can make up for some of that lost time.”
Although the father and son duo both belong to the same unit, they currently live in different areas; Marshall lives on Bagram Airfield and his son lives on Forward Operating Base Fenty in Nangarhar Province.
However, even in light of their circumstances, the Marshalls stay connected re-gularly.
“Facebook is usually the way we keep in touch,” the elder Marshall said. “However, I still don’t bother him too much and let him do his own thing over at Jalalabad. But like any parent should, I still need to see how he is doing.”
Recently, the younger Marshall was able to make it to Bagram Airfield for a couple of days. When asked how they would try and spend their time together while on the same airfield, he replied, “Go eat midnight chow at some point and go hit up (the) coffee shop.”
The Marshalls said they have a strong support network back home, with all of their friends and Family Members rooting for them and wishing them a successful mission and safe return.
“My mom is happy that I deployed with my dad, and all of my Family constantly post about how my dad and I are deployed,” Marshall said.
Few Families can say they were able to deploy together in the same unit.
The Marshalls know this opportunity is unusual and that it is important to enjoy it while it lasts.
“Being with him on his first deployment is special,” the older Marshall said. “But it will be even more special when we get back.”
(Crawford serves with 277th Aviation Support Battalion)