ABOARD USS CONSTELLATION, At Sea (NNS) -- An improbable reunion aboard USS Constellation (CV 64) for two identical twins, both Navy commanders, who have not seen each other in almost a year.
Cmdr. Frank Hruska, Supply Corps department head aboard USS Chosin (CG 65), and Lt. Cmdr. James Hruska, commander, Cruiser Destroyer Group (CCDG) 1 Operations Staff embarked on Constellation, took a few quick moments this morning to "catch-up on news."
Chosin deployed from its Pearl Harbor home port in early March and has just arrived on station in the northern Arabian Gulf. Constellation deployed from San Diego Nov. 2 and has been on station in the Arabian Gulf since Dec. 17 supporting Operations Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom and most recently Iraqi Freedom.
Chosin assumed duties as Constellation's local air defense ship or "shot-gun" April 9, allowing the chance encounter to take place during a regularly scheduled turn-over brief.
Born May 16, 1965, in East Islip, a town situated in Long Island, N.Y., Frank is 12 minutes older than brother James. Growing up together in New York, the twins both ran cross-country and track, typically spending many hours each day together. At graduation, however, the twins went separate ways.
Frank attended Hofstra University and obtained a commission in 1988 from Officer Candidate School while James attended Boston University and earned a commission in 1987 through the school's ROTC (Reserve Officer's Training Corp) program. Since they entered the service as ensigns 16 years ago, the Hruska twins have never been stationed together.
With both commanders serving in multiple roles at sea during their respective careers, their operational schedules have found them on separate coasts and continents over the years.
"It has been eight years since we were both home together in New York," commented James. "Stationed on opposite coasts, and on two occasions, different continents, with historically opposing deployment schedules, spending time together has been difficult. That makes this visit today even more special," he added.
When the two brothers each return to their home ports of San Diego and Pearl Harbor later this year, Frank will move to his next duty station in Virginia Beach, Va., while James will remain in San Diego. Once again, the twins will be on opposite coasts.
Despite infrequent visits, the Hruska brothers stay connected to each other, to their families at home and to their mother, Elizabeth Hruska, through email.
Elizabeth, a homemaker living in East Islip, has been following world events by watching the news frequently. Frank said that while their mother is always concerned, she understands why they are out here: "A mother's worst nightmare is also her proudest moment."
Asked separately about Operation Iraqi Freedom, both Frank and James responded identically, "This is the right thing to do. America has a moral obligation to liberate the Iraqi people so that they can enjoy the same right to freedom that others around the world do."
Two twin brothers, two Navy commanders, two Navy ships, one purpose: liberate the Iraqi people.
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