Bragg-based twins serve together in Afghanistan
Posted November 2, 2011 5:23 p.m. EDT
Updated November 2, 2011 8:29 p.m. EDT
JALALABAD, AFGHANISTAN — The military is sometimes called a brotherhood, as the bond between soldiers serving side by side becomes familial and an Army base thousands of miles overseas a home away from home.
For Fort Bragg-based pilots Mike and Matt McEvers, the brotherhood is both literal and unusual. They're identical twins, and in a rare move by the Army, they're both serving in Afghanistan with the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade.
For the twins, military service is a family tradition.
"Being in the military, it's something we always wanted to do," Matt McEvers said. "Our father was in the military."
The U.S. Army typically separates siblings into different brigades but kept the unshakable bond between the McEvers brothers intact. It's an experience for which they're grateful.
"Most brothers don't get to fly with their brother, let alone twin," Mike McEvers said. "It's been a very great experience, being around my brother and being able to serve with my brother in Afghanistan."
For the McEvers' parents, having two sons in a combat zone has been more than a little nerve-wracking. Still, they said they're proud of the twins and can't wait for them to return together in a year.
Mike and Matt McEvers are in the same brigade, but they were assigned to different units in Afghanistan.
The separation is tough, but their duty assignments rely heavily on aviation, so they have little time to dwell on it.
"I think it's harder knowing that he's up at another duty station and I'm down here," Matt McEvers said. "But I know he's well trained, I'm well trained and that's something we put on the back burner as we complete our mission."
During down time, though, Mike McEvers doesn't miss a chance to impersonate his brother and trick his fellow soldiers.
"He's the maintenance guy. I'll walk around the hangar with my shirt off, and (someone will) ask me inspect a piece of equipment to make sure it's good to go to fly," he said. "I'll sit there, and they'll finally catch on when I don't know what I'm talking about, and I tell them, 'Hey, I'm Mike McEvers, not Matt.'"