By Mollie Miller, 1st Infantry Division Public AffairsNovember 19, 2012
FORT RILEY, Kan. -- With more than 600 "likes" and dozens of notes of support and thanks, Lt. Allan Hartung and Lt. Treone Frink were named the winners of the 1st Infantry Division's inaugural BRO Hero Facebook Contest Oct. 29.
While division public affairs personnel were somewhat surprised by the high number of votes and outpouring of support for the two young Army leaders, the clear contest victory didn't come as much of a shock to the Soldiers' spouses who nominated the two 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team lieutenants -- Amy Hartung and Krystal Frink have called their husbands their heroes for years.
"Whether (Allan's) boots are in the sands of far away countries or paraded around by his 3-year-old son, his love of his country and those he fights for never waivers," Amy wrote in her BRO Hero nomination. "He is a friend to the friendless, mentor to the lost and hero to four little kids who call him dad. He takes great pride in displaying the Big Red One patch on both shoulders and … we are proud to have him as our BRO Hero."
Krystal, who described her husband as "selfless, hardworking and humble," echoed her friend Amy in her own BRO Hero nomination.
"(Trey) is an amazing father, husband, friend and Soldier," the Army wife, student and mother of three wrote. "He is and will always be our hero."
Both Soldiers said they were honored and somewhat shocked to be named the BRO Hero contest winners. When pressed about what the title means to them, Allan and Trey both shy away from the term "hero" and quickly turn the conversation to their wives, women who both men call their own heroes.
"In my life I have had many mentors but only one hero and that is my wife Krystal," Trey said. "Her loyalty to her husband, children and country is like no other. Her personal courage, selfless service and willingness to excel in her duties as an FRG leader, student, entrepreneur, friend, mother and wife are unmatched."
The two 1st Infantry Division Families, who have been friends since Allan and Trey met during the "Dagger" Brigade's most recent deployment to Iraq, both agree that although Army life does indeed present some challenges, it is how you deal with the adversity that makes you your own Family's hero.
"We do the best we can," Amy said. "Sometimes I fall and there is no other choice but to get up, dust off the cheerios and move on. You have to accept things that can be done and overlook the ones that can't. Follow your own path and do what is best for your Family."
The pride and experiences that come with being a military Family and loving an American Soldier very often overshadow the day-to-day challenges of Army life, according to Krystal.
"We wanted to give our children the opportunity to meet people from all around the world, to live all around the world and to have them truly understand and be humbled and gracious to be living in … the greatest country on earth," Krystal said. "Life in the Army is not always easy but it is always worth it."