Father, Son Deploy To Afghanistan Together
(October 2, 2009)
Lt. Col. Bartley O'Toole (left) and his son Senior Airman Bartley O'Toole hold the Nevada state flag Sept. 24, 2009, at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. Colonel O'Toole is the 774th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron director of operations and Airman O'Toole is a 774th EAS aircrew flight equipment journeyman.
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (9/28/2009 - AFNS)
family members is a common feeling many Airmen have while deployed, but for two
Airmen serving with the 774th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron here, that feeling
is a little less prominent. This father and son duo deployed to war together to
support Operation Enduring Freedom.
Lt. Col. Bartley O'Toole, the 774th EAS director of operations and his son,
Senior Airman Bartley O'Toole who is an aircrew flight equipment journeyman, are
both deployed here for several months from the 152nd Airlift Wing, Nevada Air
A third O'Toole, Cadet Brogan O'Toole, is a senior at the U.S. Air Force
Back home as the 192nd Airlift Squadron commander, Colonel O'Toole felt it was
his duty to volunteer for the deployment with his squadron.
"To watch the squadron deploy without me prior to becoming squadron commander
was tough," Colonel O'Toole said. "Now that I am the squadron commander, I could
never fathom the thought of the squadron deploying without me."
Airman O'Toole also volunteered to deploy.
"The squadron asked for volunteers, so I took the opportunity," he said.
Colonel O'Toole has had nine previous deployments in 25 years, but this is his
first deployment for Airman O'Toole.
The two could have been separated and sent at different times, but it was the
luck of the draw that they were deployed on the same rotation to the same
destination. They said they enjoy being deployed together, and in some ways it's
the same old routine: the family at home worries about those far away.
"It's just like being at home station, except my dad always tells me to call my
mom," Airman O'Toole said.
"I understand he's an Airman (and an adult), but every time I talk to my wife
she asks about him, so there's a parental feeling there too," Colonel O'Toole
"I am glad my father is there to look after my older brother on his first
deployment," Cadet O'Toole said.
Not only did Airman O'Toole make his father proud by joining the Air Force, but
also he is also attending the same university his father graduated from. Colonel
O'Toole graduated from the University of Nevada with an agricultural science
degree in 1987. When he's not fulfilling his duty with the Air Force, Airman
O'Toole also attends the University of Nevada, Reno. Airman O'Toole is only 30
credits short of finishing his degree in criminal justice. Upon graduation,
Airman O'Toole said he will work toward becoming an officer in the Air National
Guard and hopes to be a pilot or maybe a navigator just like his dad.
Cadet O'Toole also has aspirations of becoming a flyer, seemingly a family
tradition. He is slated to enter pilot training after graduation from the
"I am very proud of my family and the fact that all three of us are in the
military," Cadet O'Toole said. "I do worry about my father and brother quite a
bit when they are deployed, but I am still very proud of both of them."
Article and photo by Sr. Airman Felicia Juenke
455th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
Air Force News Service
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