Air Force couple re-enlists together from afar

By Jackie Faye - bio | email

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE (WIS) - An Air Force husband and wife on active duty are reenlisting at the same time during a video teleconference while one serves in Iraq and the other in South Carolina.

Tech. Sgt. Audrey Gippe is celebrating the event on Thursday at Shaw Air Force Base near Sumter, while husband Tech. Sgt. Chris Gippe will be at Balad Air Base in Iraq.

Audrey says her children, 15-month-old Jessica, 4-year-old Shawn and 6-year-old Tyler knew they were getting a surprise, but that's it.

"And I finally told them this morning we'd get to see daddy on a big-screen TV," said Audrey.

The kids have not seen their dad since his deployment in January, but for Mom and Dad, the event was more than about the conversation.

"Originally I had asked my captain if we could re-enlist on the same day, and he said, 'Well why don't you do it over VTC,' and my eyes lit up and I said, 'Wow! What do I have to do for that?'" said Audrey.

The Air Force handled everything from there and the Gippes reenlisted for the last time together.

"We do what we have to do," said Audrey. "We wear the uniform and do what we need to do this just made it a little more special."

The power of technology showed no time zone is going to prevent having those special moments. Mom and Dad hope one day the kids will understand.

"Maybe when they do grow up because they are so young now, I can explain what mommy and daddy did, where we had to go and what we got to see," said Audrey.

They have this year's untraditional family portrait to remind them of the moment.

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