FOB Salerno a Spartan family reunion hotspot


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Sgt. Adam M. Hale, an infantryman with the 2nd Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, 172nd Infantry Brigade (left), U.S. Army Sgt. Nicholaus A. Hale, a squad leader with the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division and U.S. Army Capt. Rikki Salyers of the Indiana National Guard’s 4-19th Agribusiness Development Team share a laugh after being reunited on Forward Operating Base Salerno, Afghanistan, Jan. 7. The three siblings reunited after four years with help from Maj. Gen. Daniel Allyn, Regional Command East and Combined Joint Task Force-1 commanding general, who had received a letter from their father.

U.S. Army photo/Staff Sgt. Jason Epperson

KHOWST PROVINCE, Afghanistan, — Having three deployed members in one family at the same time would seem unlikely; however, for the Hale family, it’s a reality.

With a little help, they were able to reconnect after a four-year separation, at Forward Operating Base Salerno, Jan. 6.

Army Capt. Rikki Salyers of the Indiana National Guard’s 4-19th Agribusiness Development Team and her two stepbrothers, Sgt. Nicholaus A. Hale, a squad leader with C Company, 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division; and Sgt. Adam M. Hale, an infantryman with B Company, 2nd Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, 172nd Infantry Brigade, came to the attention of Regional Command-East, after their father reached out to Maj. Gen. Daniel Allyn, Combined Joint Task Force-1 commanding general.

Though they are step-siblings, Salyers, a native of Oxford, Ind., stationed at FOB Salerno, refers to them as brothers.

“Technically they’re my stepbrothers, but I’ve never considered them (that),” Salyers, who works with the women’s outreach program, explained. “We’ve been together since I was in fourth grade, so they are my brothers.”

The last time the siblings were united was four years ago, according to Salyers.

“Our parents flew us in to Arkansas,” she said.

“That was our Christmas present. We actually got to come together for a family Christmas and get some pictures, so it was a really good time.”

Nicholaus, serving at Combat Outpost Mizan, said his father was instrumental in getting the three of them together.

“I was actually at FOB Lagman in a transient tent, getting ready to head back to COP Mizan from R&R (leave), and I got forwarded an email from my dad that he had sent to Gen. Allyn, and (Brig.) Gen Schwietzer. He said they had planned on getting us back together.”

Adam serves at Combat Outpost Zerok.

As the last of the siblings to join the Army, he talked to his brother about going to see him during this deployment.

However, no plans were ever actually made.

“It was a pretty new development.” Adam said. “I feel pretty excited. I haven’t seen my brother or sister for a few years, so it’s pretty cool to see them over here.”

After the three reunited, they spent the evening reminiscing about old times and shared a few laughs.

“Just to be able to be with family here in Afghanistan is kind of surreal,” Sayers said. “To me family is everything, so it makes it all worth it with us being here and what we’re doing.”

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