Like father, like son: serving their country together

3 Aug 2002 | Sgt. Brian J. Griffin

For Chief Warrent Officer 2 Armando Garcia, Battalion Landing Team 3/1 Gunner, taking his son on a six-month deployment with him never crossed his mind. At least not until the Marine Corps sent both his son, Cpl. Armando Garcia, and him to BLT 3/1, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable). Now the father and son team are traveling the world together, just on different ships."I see deploying together as being something unique, out of the ordinary and a great opportunity for me and my son," said Chief Warrent Officer 2 Garcia, aboard the USS Belleau Wood (LHA-3). "We had to leave our family back in San Diego, but at every port, we reunite with each other. It is just like having a piece of home wherever we are."Cpl. Garcia, who lives on the USS Denver (LPD-9), understands the deployment with his father is something not many people get to experience."My dad and I went out and had dinner while out on liberty in Singapore," Cpl. Garcia said. "How many people can say that?" Both father and son also point out the fact they get to watch over one another and make sure each stays safe."I'm concerned at times from the parent standpoint, but I know the training provided has prepared him for anything, and that puts me at ease," CWO-2 Garcia said.Worry not only falls on the father's shoulders, but also the son's, who has the same concerns about his father."Of course I naturally worry about him because he's my father, but I know he can take care of himself and he knows I can take care of myself," Cpl. Garcia said. "It does make me more comfortable though."Sgt. Jose Bernal, a friend of the family also on the deployment, sees this as a good experience for the Garcias, and is also slightly envious of their opportunity to deploy together."One of the best parts must be they don't have to worry about each other as much," Bernal said. "They know almost exactly what the other is doing because they are with each other, just on different ships. Seeing them together makes me wish I had my dad here also."Traveling the world as a father and son team is a rare experience for Marines, and the Garcias know it. They are looking forward to future stops and spending time together."I'm looking forward to visiting other places in the world with my dad," Cpl. Garcia said. "This is really something not many other people can say they have done."His dad couldn't agree with him more, as he looks forward to spending time together with his son on deployment. Then when the deployment is over, he looks forward going home together to tell stories about his once in a lifetime opportunity to have his son on deployment with him."I'm glad we're here together. This is a great opportunity for both of us," Cheis Warrent Officer 2 Garcia said. "We are looking forward to a safe return together back to the States."

Marine Corps News

Colonel James W. Lively
Commanding Officer

Colonel Lively is a native of Dallas, Texas. He received his commission in 1996 through the Platoon Leaders Course program after graduating from Texas A&M University with a BA in Psychology.

Read Biography

Lieutenant Col. Le E. Nolan
Executive Officer

Lieutenant Colonel Nolan is a 2001 graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology and received his commission through Officer Candidate Class 180. After completing flight training as a CH-53E pilot, he reported to HMH-361 in MCAS Miramar.

Read Biography

Sergeant Major Travis L. DeBarr
Sergeant Major

Sergeant Major DeBarrĀ enlisted in the Marine Corps and reported to MCRD San Diego, CA, for recruit training in October 1994.

Read Biography

11th Marine Expeditionary Unit