Brothers reflect on deployment together

  • Published
  • By Airman Crystal Charriere
  • 419th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Airmen leave several things behind when they deploy: their home, belongings and, most importantly their friends and family. The sting of saying farewell can be extremely difficult, but for two 419th Fighter Wing Airmen, it was softened because the person next to them on the plane was their brother.

Tech. Sgt. Steven Azevedo and Senior Airman Chris Azevedo, 419th Civil Engineer Squadron, recently returned from a six-month deployment to Afghanistan. During their deployment, the Azevedo brothers worked with various construction teams to support Army personnel and make the Army quality of living better.

"I felt lucky to have my best friend and brother deployed with me," said Steven. "Time would have passed at half speed without him."

Like most brothers, the Azevedos spent time together fishing, going to grandma's house and traveling to Disneyland as children. Now they have grown up and joined the Air Force Reserve. The younger brother, Sergeant Steven Azevedo, enlisted first. Airman Chris Azevedo followed his younger brother soon after. Chris has felt his brother's support during his entire Air Force career, but there is one moment that sticks with him.

"A very important memory I have of my brother is when he came to see me in Texas after I graduated boot camp," Chris said. "He was very happy for me then, as he is now. It was nice to have him there, to see a familiar face, and spend a few hours hanging out."

Now they are assigned to the same squadron, and when the opportunity came to deploy together, they took it.

"Being together I've gained a stronger bond with my brother and more pride for our family name," Chris Azevedo said. This is his first deployment, and he says there are many times when he is thankful his brother was with him.

"The moments when we discussed our mission accomplishments and when my brother told me he was proud of me, those are the times I'm glad we deployed together," he said. "I consider myself lucky."

Their father, retired Air Force Master Sgt. Fredric Azevedo, was the first in their family to join the Air Force Reserve in 1982. He said he is glad his sons are continuing a proud family tradition.

"I believe this deployment brought them a lot closer, although I don't know how they could be any closer," their father said. "I was less nervous about their deployment because they were together. They look after each other."

When civilians become Airmen, they sacrifice time with their loved ones in order to serve their country. But at the 419th, there are brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers and other family members who work together to accomplish the mission.