AKRON, Ohio - Two brothers serving in Afghanistan had their paths cross which surprised even them. Air Force Staff Sgt. Derek Allen and US Army Cpl. Greg Allen are both from Akron. They hadn't seen each other in years. "Last time we saw each other was Thanksgiving 2009," said Derek Allen.
Earlier this month, Greg's 101 st Airborne Division came under heavy fire and needed help. He would get aid with two 500 pound bombs from an A-10 Thunderbolt, and brother Derek is part of the inspection team. Because the two are in two different branches with different jobs, the likelihood brothers aiding each other is rare.
"We are never going to work together. We are never going to be standing shoulder to shoulder in any kind of situation," said Derek. Their parents, who live in Akron, couldn't be happier that two of their three kids will be together again. "I think this is awesome," said Melissa Allen from her Morningview Avenue home. "I mean what a blessing. I mean that is the most awesome Christmas gift. "
Both men are married and will not be with their wives. For Greg, Christmas is especially hard since he deployed when his daughter was 19-days-old. He will miss his daughter's first Christmas. He told NewsChannel 5 that during his last deployment he spent all the holidays by himself. Clearly, being with his brother this year is a joy. Although, the two don't know how long this will last. "The most important part is even if [Greg] was here for four hours, it's the fact that we finally get to see each other. It couldn't come at a better time."