Deployed for Father’s Day: Army dad, daughter serve together in Saudi Arabia

Father's Day can be difficult for active-duty military personnel who are thousands of miles from their fathers or children, but one father-daughter duo got to celebrate together last weekend while serving abroad.

Army Master Sgt. Jason Minyard and his daughter 1st Lt. Beth Minyard are serving on deployment at Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia. They are attached to the 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Battalion, 153rd Infantry Regiment, which is headquartered in Searcy, Ark., and they are working with the 378th Air Expeditionary Wing at PSAB.

While the Minyards' deployment was special, they were even more fortunate Sunday as they got to celebrate Father's Day together. The experience put the holiday into perspective for the pair.

"It kind of just makes me feel bad for most people who deploy that don't get to be with their fathers, or who have newborn babies or kids that they don't get to see," 1st. Lt Minyard said in an Army news release. "It just makes me really grateful."

She added that it was the best gift her father could receive on deployment.

"It never hit me until now how privileged I am to have her here for Father's Day," Master Sgt. Minyard said.

For Master Sgt. Minyard, Sunday was just a culmination of the blessing that is getting to serve with his daughter.

"She gave me the best hugs when I first got here," Master Sgt. Minyard said in the release. "I realize now that I (have) something that other people don't."

Beth Minyard called serving with her father a unique experience.

"You're lucky if you have a friend on a deployment," she said in the release, "but I think you're even more fortunate if you have a family member."

The Minyards have a history of military service that predates Jason Minyard's enlistment in 2007, according to the release. His great-uncle served in the Army during World War II, and his father was a military policeman during the Korean War.

Master Sgt. Minyard said he encouraged both of his daughters to join the military because of the impact serving has had on his life.

"The Army turned my life around by giving my life structure, discipline and a sense of self-worth," he said in the release.

The admiration 1st Lt. Minyard had for her father and his service played a crucial role in her own decision to join the Army.

"I thought it was cool that he was in the Army," she said in the release. "We always joke that I'm like the son he didn't have because I was always the one to do what he did."

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