The Storey family is not one that you see everyday in the military. They have four members in the Army. Three of them are assigned to the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. Three of them are currently deployed to Iraq. Two of them are on the same Forward Operating Base.
It all started when Cpl. Angela Sadowski, a member of the 27th Brigade Support Battalion, and her husband, Spc. Brian Sadowski, a member of the Special Troops Battalion, reenlisted for Fort Bliss, Texas, from Germany.
A week after the Sadowskis reenlisted, Spc. Patrick Storey, Angela Sadowski’s brother, came down on orders for Fort Bliss as well.
“I was excited,” said Cpl. Sadowski. “I hadn’t seen Patrick in over two years, so I was really happy. We all spent quite some time together. I went to lunch with Patrick and to the German Cantina all the time. Plus, we lived a block apart, so we could just walk to each others house.”
After being stationed at Bliss for several months together and being able to reunite for the first time in two years, Patrick packed his bags once again, along with the rest of the 4th BCT, and headed off to Iraq, while his sister stayed behind because she was having a child.
Spc. Sadowski, Angela’s husband, was stationed at FOB Marez, while Patrick, Angela’s brother, was sent a short distance away to FOB Q-West with the 5th Battalion 82nd Field Artillery Regiment.
Around the same time Storey and Sadowski were leaving for Iraq, Spc. James Storey, Angela and Patrick’s father, a mechanic assigned to the 454th Transportation Company, was settling in at FOB Endurance.
What the father and son team of specialists did not know, was that FOB Endurance and FOB Q-West were in fact, the same installation.
“I knew he was coming to Mosul, but I had no idea he was coming to this post,” said James. “They had changed his location three times before he actually got in country.”
When Patrick arrived in Iraq, he knew the name of the FOB where his father was stationed but didn’t know where it was located. “I knew he was on FOB Endurance,” said Patrick. “The first week or so, I heard people saying this was FOB Endurance, but I didn’t really believe it,” added Patrick.
Patrick had to find some hard evidence, so he decided to go to the Post Exchange. “I went to the PX to see if they had any of the shirts that had the name of the FOB on them. Most of them said Q-West, but I found a few that said FOB Endurance on them.”
Now that Patrick knew he was on the same FOB as his father, he had to figure out how to find him. “I thought the best thing for me to do was to go to the mayor’s cell, because they have a record of everyone on the FOB,” said Patrick.
The mayor’s cell did some calling around and found the unit that James was with after a few tries.
After he confirmed the location of his father, Patrick set out to see him. “I went to his motor pool and a noncommissioned officer was walking toward me so I asked if a Spc. Storey was here and the NCO said ‘yes, who are you?’ I’m his son. ‘Wow, he’s right around the corner.'”
“I was building shelves in a connex, for parts, and I hear, ‘Hey old man, what are you doing,'” explained James. “I couldn’t believe it when I heard his voice. I turned around and I jumped on the kid like there was no tomorrow. I hugged him like a bear; it was wonderful.”
The Storeys try to spend as much time together as possible, but sometimes duty makes it hard on them to do that. “I go out on patrols a lot and we don’t know when we are coming back in,” said Patrick. “Sometimes it’s pretty late.”
“They keep him busy enough; sometimes I only see him once every two weeks or so,” said James.
When they do get together, they talk with family back home.
“He comes over and visits my computer,” laughed James. “We talk and joke around with all our friends and family back home on the internet. I think they like it when we pick on them together. The family back home thinks its great that we’re on the same [FOB] and that we get to see each other.”
Cpl. Sadowski thinks, “It is good that they are on the same FOB. It will help build a better relationship between them. It’s just something that you don’t hear about too often; they can help each other out and keep the morale going for themselves and others too.”
Her father agreed and added, “I think it’s easier being on the same FOB because I get to see him and I know that when I see him, even if it’s just in passing, if he’s walking upright, I’m happy. That’s how I feel. I get a hug and ‘I love you’ and away we go,” said James.
“I’m just proud to have this young man as a son,” he exclaimed! “He is really my hero; three tours, he’s a family man like no other, he’s got all the qualities that I wish a lot more people had, and he’s proud of his country.”
By Pfc. Bradley J. Clark