Father, son spend time together on Christmas Day in Afghanistan
First Sgt. Stephen Givens and his son Pfc. Zachary Givens spend time together on Christmas Day in Afghanistan. Both father and son are currently deployed with the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade.

LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan (Dec. 28, 2012) -- While Kelly Givens and her youngest son Cory are celebrating Christmas in Kansas City with family and friends, her husband and oldest son have other plans.

They will be spending this Christmas together in another part of the world. Her husband, 1st Sgt. Stephen Givens and her oldest son, Pfc. Zachary Givens, are currently deployed with the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade in Afghanistan.

Zachary, a CH-47 Chinook helicopter mechanic with B Company, 6-101 CAB, Task Force Saber, made the trip from Forward Operating Base Fenty to Forward Operating Base Shank, where his father is the first sergeant for B Company, 1-101 CAB, Task Force Eagle Assault.

"At 3 a.m. Christmas morning we were able to call home and talk to all our family and friends in Kansas City," said Stephen. "Zachary and I where on speaker phone and got to talk to my wife Kelly, my mom, grandma and sister."

They both realize how special this opportunity to spend Christmas together is.

"This has been great for us," says Stephen. "I have six other guys who have family serving in Afghanistan and (they) did not get to see their loved ones today."

His son echoed the same sentiment.

"I feel lucky," said Zachary. "Not everyone gets to do what we did."

While his father was on his last deployment, Zachary decided to continue in his father's path and enlist in the Army. He was determined to be a part of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and carry on the tradition his father had started.

"Steve was deployed when Zack took his Oath of Enlistment," said Kelly. "The Soldiers and staff at the [military entrance processing station] were very accommodating and allowed us to have Steve on speaker phone with the phone held up so that he could hear him take his oath. It may have been seen as simple or silly by others standards, to our family it was priceless."

While her husband and son are deployed, Kelly serves as the Family Readiness Group leader for B Company, 1-101 CAB.

"People ask me all the time, 'how do you do it?' Truth is, I don't know," said Kelly. "I wake up every morning praying they are safe, and I go to bed thankful for not just my two, but for all of the Soldiers and their families who are on the same path as my family."

Page last updated Mon December 31st, 2012 at 07:06