CAMP ARIFJAN - Kuwait. Deployments often stress family relationships, but sometimes it draws them closer.
"We see each other more, are around each other more, than we do at home," said Sgt. Ravan C. Lee about her stepmother, Lt. Col. Annie Merle Lee.
Deployed with the 184th Sustainment Command, Mississippi Army National Guard, in support of Operation Spartan Shield, the Lees serve in the 1st Theater Sustainment Command's Operational Command Post. Ravan is an information management helpdesk specialist, and Merle serves as the director of logistics.
"I'm very thankful that she's here with me," said Ravan.
When selected for promotion, Ravan's choice of who would have the honor of pinning sergeant's rank was natural.
"I asked her to pin me, because it would make it more special."
Merle carefully keeps her distance, the mom always watching out for her daughter, but does make time for her.
"She has her group of friends," said Merle, smiling, admitting that on occasion they do spend quality time away from their separate social circles to stay connected.
"This is my third deployment, her first," said Merle. "I think she has grown as both a Soldier and an individual."
If home is where the heart is, then having family deployed together brings a piece of home wherever you are.