Halfway around the world but not far from home:
A Father and son reunite while serving in Iraq.
Photos and story by Capt. Kevin D. Levesque
13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Public Affairs
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE MAREZ, Iraq — Sgt. Jack Crews, a truck commander with Regimental Fires Squadron, 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), and his son, Spc. Jason Crews, a driver with 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, met in theater for the first time May 9 at Contingency Operating Base Marez, Iraq.
The last time Jack saw his son was August of last year and with Father’s Day just around the corner, he was hoping to get together with him while they were both in the theater. When Jason’s company commander found out that his father was in Iraq, he made arrangements for the reunion.
Jason graduated basic training in August 2008, and Jack knew something was special about his son when he saw him as a Soldier for the first time, he said.
Fighting back tears, he recalled the letter that Jason sent him while at basic training.
“He appreciated me for teaching him responsibility. At the time he thought I was … being tough on him. But when he got to basic he saw the (purpose),” Jack said.
It was Jack that inspired his son to join the Army and it was a bit of a surprise that his son would inspire him years later. After a 10 year break in service, the 49-nine-year-old father of four from Mount Pleasant, Tenn. decided to reenlist.
Jason, also a Mount Pleasant native, remembered the many times his father would take him to the National Guard armory when he was growing up. He had always been around the military so joining the Army was a natural progression, he said.
He recalled that his father would let him climb on the military vehicles in the motor pool, he said.
“He was practically raised in the Guard,” Jack said. “I joined the Guard in 1988 when Jason was born … I have a picture of me holding him when I graduated (Primary Leadership Development Course).”
Jason and Jack said that of all the family reunions, this one tops the list.
“Momma didn’t like it,” Jason said when asked what his mother thought about them both being deployed at the same time.
However, she won’t have to wait too much longer, as both father and son are coming home soon.
Jack said he and Jason’s mother planned to visit Fort Riley, Kan. to see their son when they both return from Iraq, but Jason quickly corrected his dad and said he actually plans to visit them in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Tennessee. Jack smiled at the news.
Whether they are in Tennessee, Kansas or Iraq, being together means they are not far from home for the Crews.’
Sgt. Jack Crews (right), a truck commander with Regimental Fires Squadron, 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), and his son, Spc. Jason Crews, a driver with 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, meet May 9 at Contingency Operating Base Marez, Iraq. (U.S. Army photo by Capt. Kevin D. Levesque)