Life in the military can be challenging when it comes to being away from family.
That, however, was not the case recently for Ventura native Robert L. Halsey and his sister, Mystique Queen from Medford, Ore.
The two were reunited on Queen’s ship, the USS Halsey.
Mr. Halsey is a Naval Senior Chief Information System Technician assigned to Commander Destroyer Squadron fifteen (DESRON 15), which is currently embarked on the USS Ronald Reagan. Ms. Queen is assigned to the Easy Riders of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron, which is currently embarked on the USS Halsey.
The reunion proved to be serendipitous, as USS Halsey asked for some additional training from DESRON 15, and Mr. Halsey was sent over to assist the ship where his sister, an Aviation Electronics Mate 2nd Class, is currently serving.
“(Recently), the Commodore (DESRON 15), Capt. Steven DeMoss, and I were discussing sending me over for training,” Mr. Halsey said in a statement. “During the conversation, I brought up the fact that my baby sister, AE2 Mystique Queen, was stationed onboard. The Commodore was also already aware of the fact that Admiral Halsey was a distant relative of mine. So the opportunity for him to send (me) to the USS Halsey to see (my) kid sister and conduct training was too much for him to pass up.”
Mr Halsey said the commodore expressed his happiness that he was able to reunite him with his sister, while still taking care of one of the ships to remain mission-ready.
Ms. Queen learned that her brother was coming to surprise her, so she decided to surprise him instead by serving with the flight deck personnel responsible to choke and chain (securing) the helicopter upon landing.
“I felt like my heart was going to beat out of my chest,” Ms. Queen said. “I was so excited. He looked so surprised when he saw me. I surprised him, as he thought he was surprising me.”
The eldest of five, Mr. Halsey would take time to drive up to visit his sister and three other siblings in Oregon while stationed in California.
“Mystique was actually born a few months before I graduated high school in Ventura in 1996,” Mr. Halsey said. “I was raised by my grandparents in Ventura after my father passed away when I was 10 years old. My mother had previously moved to Oregon a few years before that where she lived with Mystique’s father, and our three other siblings. I’m the oldest of five siblings, and Mystique is the youngest.”
Meeting up aboard the ship of their family’s namesake is a special moment the two said they will treasure for years to come.
“This is my first ship and my first deployment, and it just so happens to be on the Halsey,” Ms. Queen said. “It’s really amazing that on my first deployment I would reunite with my brother, who might be serving on his last deployment.”
Mr. Halsey was thrilled about the occasion as well.
“This is something I had dreamed of,” he said. “When I brought her in the Navy, I was always hoping something like this would happen.”
Caption: Naval Senior Chief Information System Technician and Ventura native Robert L. Halsey is reunited with his sister, Aviation Electronics Mate 2nd Class Mystique Queen, aboard Queen’s ship, the USS Halsey.