CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait, Sept. 27, 2011 -- A deployment to Southwest Asia is not everyone's cup of tea, but for some couples it beats kissing goodbye for six months.

Two married couples in the ammunition business deployed together to keep from being apart. Since they are in the same line of work, they were able to fill important positions for the 402nd Army Field Support Brigade.

Suzanne Greenway,47, and Rod Stingerie,48, left Oklahoma for a deployment to Baghdad, Iraq, while Lynn,47, and Donnie,43, Brock deployed to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, from Rock Island, Ill., where they work for the Joint Munitions Command.

Greenway works for the Defense Ammunition Center and Stingerie works for the U.S. Army Technical Center Explosive Safety, both located at McAlester Army Ammunition Plant in Oklahoma.

The Brocks are newlyweds, married only five months when they deployed and between the two of them they have eight children. They decided to start their new life together with a six-month deployment. Together in Kuwait they manage a steady stream of ammunition coming in from Iraq.

"What better way to really get to know one another? After all, we share a 20-foot living space in our free time, which is very little," said Donnie.

"We are both very passionate about our jobs and believe in what we do. Being newly married, we didn't want to be separated, but wanted to do our part and felt we had something to contribute," Lynn added.

Greenway and Stingerie inspect and sort ammunition that is turned in from units across Iraq. This is the second deployment for Greenway and having her husband by her side has made a difference this time.

"For my first deployment, the worst part was being separated from my family, especially my husband. But given the opportunity to deploy with him has made this tour much easier," Greenway said.

Stingerie extended a six-month deployment so that his wife could join him in Iraq for a six month tour of duty. He agrees that family separations can be the worst part of a deployment.

"Missing the family and not being around to support your family members in time of crisis, it's not for everyone. You have to be willing to give and take," Stingerie said.

Both couples said they get a feeling of satisfaction working together and being a part of the drawdown in Iraq.

"The best part is being able to actually witness the outcome of your decisions. Being this far forward on the battlefield and supporting warfighters is exhilarating and fulfilling," said Donnie.

Page last updated Tue September 27th, 2011 at 00:00