enjoys being home for the holidays
It is the wish of every parent
to have their children home for the holidays.
And, for this holiday season, the wish is a reality for Ray and
Robin Gardner of Friendship. Their son, Brandon, is home after
completing his overseas tour in Kuwait and Iraq. He was
gone too long, said Brandons father. Were
glad to have him home.
Specialist Brandon Gardner is a member of the Delta Company 2-238th
GSAB (General Support Aviation Battalion) as an aircraft mechanic.
The 2006 South Ripley High School graduate received his pilots
license before entering into the military and hopes that his experience
with flying and as a mechanic will make him a good candidate for
the aviation program. Its my goal to fly the Blackhawks
that I work on, he told The Versailles Republican.
Specialist Gardner entered basic training in April 2007 at Ft.
Sill, OK. He was later transferred to Ft. Eustace in Virginia
to begin his Advanced Individual Training as a Blackhawk aircraft
In January he was stationed in Kuwait for nearly a year. He enjoyed
his overseas tour in Kuwait, with a few days spent in Iraq. There
was always something to do, he noted.
The military is a positive experience for a small-town boy.
You meet people from all over the world, he said. And
it matures you faster.
Gardner stayed in touch with his family via email and weekly phone
calls while he was away. He is glad to be home and seeing his
family this year for the holidays. According to Gardner, Thanksgiving
2008 was spent in Ft. Sills with the officers serving the men.
Although he joined the military so that he could be a pilot, Gardner
doesnt know if he will re-enlist when his time is up saying
he has some time to think about it.
Gardners father told The Versailles Republican he
had some tense moments when his son was in Kuwait and particularly
in Iraq. He said there was a short clip about a crash in Baghdad,
but he couldnt get any more information for quite some time.
He couldnt talk to his son immediately either. It turned
out this was a unit that Specialist Gardner served a short period
with, but wasnt on that particular mission when the aircraft
Both father and son agreed that home is a great place to be for