Bobby and Barbara Branch have three sons fighting the war with Iraq. The family is doing its best to cope with its worst fears.
For three brothers who grew up in Wise, the wise decision after high school was to enlist. First, Ricky Branch enlisted. Then Justin, and, most recently, adopted brother Tywayne Ball.
Ricky and Tywayne are based at Camp Lejeune. Justin Branch is based at Camp Pendleton, Calif.
The three are proud Marines with proud parents.
"Yes, I am," Barbara Branch said. "I'm very proud of them, and I just want for them to be home."
For now, the Branch boys are fighting a war. Ricky and Justin are in Iraq. Tywayne's waiting for orders in Kuwait.
All three sons write frequently.
Justin can't wait to get back and see his son, J.J.
Ricky has a family in Jacksonville.
"We raised them to be nice children," said Barbara Ann Ball, Tywayne's real mother. "It flowed over into the Marine Corps. When they got in there, it just made them better."
Ball is the Branch's niece. So, he has two mothers who worry and pray.
What gets them through it all is imagining the reunion when all three come home.
For now, letters will have to do.
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