By Capt. Jayson Hughes, 3rd CAB, TF FalconSeptember 9, 2010
FORWARD OPERATING BASE SHANK, Afghanistan - Soldiers serving in the military can expect to spend a significant amount of their time away from Family. For Sgt. 1st Class Michael Broughton and his brother, Chief Warrant Officer Mark Baranowsky, their responsibilities have prevented them from seeing each other for more than a year. However, thanks to their combat tour in Afghanistan, they will spend one month together at Forward Operating Base Shank.
"Having my brother here is kind of like having another mid-tour," said Chief Warrant Officer Baranowsky, a Black Hawk pilot with Company B, TF Brawler, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, TF Falcon. "By being in different deploying CABs throughout our careers, we have never been able to sync our leave dates. It is such a delight to finally get some Family time with my big brother. I'm just not sure we'll get this chance again for some time."
Though their jobs are closely interconnected, their assignments have kept them apart for most of their careers. Both brothers were raised on a small Family farm and joined the Army quickly following high school in Riverview, Fla. Sergeant First Class Broughton joined first, in 1995 as a Black Hawk mechanic, with Chief Warrant Officer Baranowsky enlisting in 2002 also as a Black Hawk mechanic. He later applied for flight training as a warrant officer.
"We started out both as [Black Hawk] crew chiefs but with both wars and the needs of the Army, we have had little time to keep up sibling rivalries," said Sgt. 1st Class Broughton, who is serving as first sergeant of B Co., Task Force Gambler, 3rd CAB, TF Falcon, also from Riverview. "It seems out of place that I'm required to salute my younger brother, but every time I do, I become more and more proud of him. We both came from humble beginnings, and now, with Mark being a warrant officer and I'm a first sergeant, we both are proof of the American dream."
Chief Warrant Officer Baranowsky is scheduled to redeploy to Savannah in November, with Sgt. 1st Class Broughton returning to Fort Hood, Texas, in the summer of 2011.