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Following in her footsteps: Mother and Son Deploy

  • Published
  • By by Sgt. 1st Class Robert Jordan
  • North Carolina National Guard

Patricia Haynes and her son, Colton Haynes, met for their first Sunday meal in many months in early 2020 with discussion the work of the day and catching up on what happened since their last get together.

Which included mobilizing to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait in support of U.S. Central Command’s Operation Inherent Resolve, deploying many thousands of miles from home, and continuing a family military tradition dating back to the American Revolution.

“We did not know we would be on the same base,” said Master Sgt. Patricia Haynes, a logistics planner with the North Carolina Air National Guard’s 145th Logistics Readiness Squadron.

Her Kuwait deployment in January 2020 brought her to the same base where Sgt. Colton Haynes, a Soldier assigned to the North Carolina Army National Guard’s 236th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team.

“Once she got on the ground, she contacted me knowing I was deployed here,” said Colton Haynes.

Their schedules allowed them to eat at the same dining facility at the base once a week. And her son was able to pin on her new rank of Master Sergeant at a small ceremony on the base.

“It is a community, it speaks to the closeness of the Guard,” said Colton Haynes.

That deployment to Kuwait together had roots in her service, his high school experiences, and a long family military history.

She enlisted in the active duty U.S. Air Force from 1985 to 1989 but felt a desire to continue her service after they in 2008 joined the North Carolina Civil Air Patrol, a civilian auxiliary of the Air Force and he also had joined Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps at his high school.

A fellow CAP member encouraged her to reenlist, “I wanted to contribute, be part of a bigger purpose,” said Patricia Haynes.

She enlisted in the NCANG later that year at age 43 and her service continued a long family line in the military.

"It is inspiring to be part of tradition of those who served before you,” said Colton Haynes.