Father, son lead Army unit 4 decades apart

Bob Harkins

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (AP) — An Army officer and his veteran father have an unusual bond for Father’s Day.

Lt. Col. Patrick Harkins and his dad, retired Col. Bob Harkins have led the same unit into combat four decades apart. Patrick Harkins took the unit known as the Rakkasans from Fort Campbell, Kentucky into battle in Afghanistan. Bob Harkins led the same unit into combat in Operation Apache Snow, better known as the Battle of Hamburger Hill, in Vietnam in 1969.

While the military has long had family legacies — and featured them prominently in Father’s Day celebrations — the Harkins’ achievements stand out. Capt. Charles Emmons, a spokesman for the brigade, said it appears to be the first time a father and son have commanded the same unit decades apart.

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