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A Family Business

By 1st Lt Pedro Fernández Vicente
First published in
SFOR Informer#129, December 26, 2001

WO1 Julian Dionisio Rengel and his son, soldier Francisco Javier Dionisio de la Torre, serve in the Spanish Battle Group (SBG) in Mostar. The situation is the same at the Spanish National Support Element (SNSE) Mostar airport, where WO1 Ignacio Escudero Sarria and his son, soldier Ignacio Escudero Alonso, also work together.

Dionisio's Family
Mostar - WO1 Dionisio is a big friendly man, with an open look in his eyes. He is a person who inspires confidence. He has an extensive military resume spanning more than 26 years in the Spanish Army. He began his military career in 1975 in the Mountain Infantry Troop where he worked until 1984. Since then he has served in the armoured forces. He has been to BiH four times, the first of them with UNPROFOR and three more times with SFOR. "There was real risk here in that time. Today I can still remember how a mortar shell blew up just in front of my BMR 600. We had to use armoured vehicles to supply food to our checkpoints. I lived through very sad days, especially one on Nov. 3 in 1995. One mortar shell killed a teenager in the Cathedral door when she went out of it," he said, while looking at his son. "It is my first tour here. I came with my unit and it was a big surprise to know that my father came here too," Dionisio Junior said.
Escudero's Family
WO1 Escudero has a penetrating gaze. He is not so tall but he is a person nobody would want as an enemy. He currently serves in the artillery and has an interesting and extensive military history: he is a parachutist, has served in the Sahara in the advanced observer team and was a teacher in Artillery College. He is not authorised to talk about part of his military career. "In my current posting I have got 400 civilian workers in my charge, but really I prefer working with my soldiers, like I have done during all my military life. This is one of the reasons I am here and the other is because I want to return to the Spanish Parachute Troops when I go back to Spain," said Escudero. "We spend more time together here than in Spain. The life in the parachute troops doesn't give us too much time to be together," said his son.

Related link:
Nations of SFOR: Spain