TRANSIT CENTER AT MANAS, Kyrgyzstan - Frances Hernandez watched her brother join the Marines. Four years later, she was interested in joining the military as well, and her brother guided her to the Air Force. Their military careers have kept them geographically separated most of the time since.
"My first station was Germany, and he was in Washington State," Staff Sgt. Hernandez said. "Then I went to Utah, and he went to Hawaii, then I went to Alaska, and now he's in California. I wondered, can we be in the same geographical area?"
She finally got her wish.
Now deployed to Transit Center at Manas, Kyrgyzstan, serving as a logistics planner for the 376th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron, Hernandez was able to track her brother's status when she learned he was deploying. Her job allowed her to see they would meet at the Transit Center days before she redeployed.
"It lined up perfectly, that's pretty exciting," said the sister deployed out of Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, and native of Bayamon, Puerto Rico. "We see each other very little though we are very close, so I'm excited to get a couple days with him at good ol' TCM."
Her brother, Marine Staff Sgt. Gilberto Castillo, is a member of the 9th Communications Battalion Detachment Forward, deployed out of Camp Pendleton, Calif.
"In the 11 years that I've been in now, this is the first time we've been able to meet somewhere," said the brother, also a native of Bayamon, Puerto Rico. "It's definitely a challenge to meet anywhere in between deployments, even on leave sometimes."
The siblings managed to have good timing; soon they will be leaving on the same day, Hernandez returning home, and Castillo beginning his deployment in Afghanistan.
"Both of our units supported us meeting here and spending some family time," Castillo said. "Regardless of location, we always keep in contact. It feels great to meet up again."