Story by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jonathan Jiang
PHILIPPINE SEA – USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) Sailors reunited with their siblings serving aboard USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), June 18.
Sailors were flown from Ronald Reagan to John C. Stennis while the carriers were performing dual carrier strike group operations in the Philippine Sea.
The reunion was a spontaneous decision between Ronald Reagan’s and John C. Stennis’ chains of command. A helicopter bringing Rear Adm. John D. Alexander, commander, Task Force 70, to John C. Stennis for a meeting had available seating, creating the opportunity for Reagan Sailors to visit their siblings on John C. Stennis.
“I was shocked,” said Aviation Ordnanceman 3rd Class James Role, from Biroqua, Wisconsin, stationed aboard John C. Stennis. “I found this out two days ago and now I’m seeing my brother for the first time in over a year, and I’m happy. It’s awesome.”
Role’s half brother is Aviation Structural Mechanic 1st Class Clint Buckles, also from Biroqua, and assigned to Ronald Reagan.
“We don’t see each other as often because we deployed to different areas,” said Buckles, “I’m in Japan and he’s in Washington, so it’s really awesome. It’s a great opportunity.”
Two pairs of twin brothers were also reunited: Culinary Specialist Seaman Laquintis James, assigned to John C. Stennis, and Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Laquantis James, assigned to Ronald Reagan, both from Chicago; and Electronics Technician 2nd Class Colton Cochran, assigned to John C. Stennis, and Electronics Technician 2nd Class Cody Cochran, assigned to Ronald Reagan, both from Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Identical twins Chief Logistics Specialist Marcus Burdios and Ship’s Serviceman 2nd Class Michael Burdios, both stationed aboard John C. Stennis, were able to see their older brother, Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Anthony Burdios, from the Ronald Reagan. All three brothers are from Long Beach, California.
“Seeing the ships lined up and showing our sea power is just motivating,” said Anthony Burdios, “To know that my brothers are on the other ship doing the same thing, protecting the freedom of America, is indescribable.”
The Burdios brothers are continuing their family legacy by joining the Navy, which has been a part of their lives in more ways than one.
“Our dad was in the Navy so we had to move around a lot … whether we liked it or not we had to be our own best friends,” said Marcus Burdios. “Ten years in the Navy now and here I am in the middle of the ocean and the Navy is still bringing us closer.”
Providing a ready force supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific, John C. Stennis is operating as part of the Great Green Fleet on a regularly scheduled 7th Fleet deployment.