Sisters enjoy nearby status

By Pfc. Abel Trevino
28th Public Affairs Detachment

LOGISTICS SUPPORT AREA ANACONDA, Balad, Iraq — Soldiers stationed in Iraq are generally 10,000 miles from their families. But for these two sisters, Sgt. Andria Bergner, an optical lab specialist with the 226th Medical Logistics Battalion and Capt. Mary Louise Bergner, 744th Transportation Company Commander, proximity isn't an issue. The sisters are both stationed at LSA Anaconda.

"[My sister] found out she was going to be deployed at the same time I found out," Andria said. "We didn't know for sure she was coming to [LSA Anaconda] till late January, after I was already here."

The sisters will be able to spend 11 out of 12 months together, which gives them an opportunity to make up for lost time.

"I'm very excited [to be stationed together]," Mary said, "I was glad because as adults, we haven't been able to spend a lot of time together because she's in the active Army and I live in New Hampshire. We're used to being separated by miles."

Their parents are proud of them and the service they are doing for their country, but are also worried.

"Of course, it frightens them with the war going on, having two daughters in Iraq," Andria said.

Their parents know that both women are strong and confident and have each other to lean on through the good and bad, said Mary.

"[Mary] was here to promote me to sergeant. She did my re-enlistment, and she was able to come up to the brigade when I got my award for winning NCO of the Year," Andria said. "Those were some very distinguished moments in my career that she was able to be there for."

Along with being there for each other during their proudest moments, there is also an amount of worry that comes knowing each other is in harms way.

"[When an alarm goes off] I usually always try to make a call to make sure nothing has hit near her," Mary said. "I'm thinking 'God please don't let it be anywhere near her,' and then once I found out there haven't been any injuries or anything, I breathe easier."

Andria worries about her sister both inside and outside the post.

"It makes me nervous because she's the commander of a transportation unit and she goes out on the road a lot," Andria said.

They are aware of the dangers the others face, and despite the worries from the dangers that come, the sisters are stationed together and wouldn't have it any other way.

"We're just really, really lucky. I know there are a lot of people out there that come over here and maybe their family members are out here, but [not on the same camp]. We know we're really lucky, because it's an extra support network to have here," Andria said.

Editor's Note: Pfc. Trevino is assigned to the 28th Public Affairs Detachment from Fort Lewis, Wash. He is currently deployed to Iraq in support of the 13th Corps Support Command at LSA Anaconda.


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Capt. Mary Louise Bergner, 744th Transportation Company commander, was able to be in attendance for her sister, Sgt. Andria Bergner, 226th Medical Logistics Battalion, the day she won NCO of the Year.

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Command Sgt. Maj. William J. Gainey, III Corps command sergeant major, presents Sgt. Andria Bergner, 226th Medical Logistics Battalion, with her NCO of the Year award in Baghdad. (courtesy photo)