Three siblings, 3 services, 1 goal

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. C. Michaela Judge
  • 66th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
What do an Army beauty queen, an Air Force captain and a Navy lieutenant have in common? Family and willpower.

April 21 not only marked the date for the 112th Boston Marathon, it also created an opportunity to reunite the Panton family - two brothers and a sister, all serving across the country and in different branches of the military.

Capt. Brad Panton, Program Manager for the Enhanced Regional Situation Awareness Program here, said that when he decided to take on his first marathon, he was quick to call up his brother, Navy Lt. Davie Panton, and sister, Army Capt. Jeannie Deakyne, bringing them together after almost a year apart.

"[Running this race together] is a good experience. It's my first time seeing them since returning from Iraq -- so it's a nice way to do it," said Captain Deakyne.

Captain Deakyne, who has served two overseas tours in Iraq, was also crowned Mrs. Texas International in 2005 and was recently crowned Mrs. U.S.
Beauties 2008. She is currently in the process of PCSing to teach ROTC at the University of Texas at Arlington, where she is also an alumna.

On the morning of the race, the three siblings seemed both calm and collected, though Captain Panton said he was probably "the most nervous," since it was his first marathon. The Boston Marathon was Captain Deakyne's second marathon, and one of many for Lieutenant Panton, who's stationed out of San Diego.

The team of three, who sported matching family shirts, ran on the mild spring day with goals in mind and with a little "friendly competition" between branches.

They all joked that whoever had the best time would prove which branch of service was actually "the better of the three."

Though Captain Panton completed the trek first, with a time of 3:58:01, he said they all did very well and that the experience was great.

Both Captain Deakyne and Lieutenant Panton finished under 5:30, which was a personal goal for the captain.

Though parts of the race were challenging, especially Heartbreak Hill, a famous portion of the Boston Marathon, the three siblings finished strong.

And while running marathons together may not become a family tradition, the three were happy to be reunited as a family.

"The stars really aligned for this one, for us all to be together again," Captain Panton said.