Jordan Bourassa (left, foreground) stands in front of his twin brother Tyler Bourassa in formation prior to marching in the 54th Annual City of Torrance Armed Forces Day Celebration and Parade in Torrance, Calif., May 18, 2013. Both brothers are new recruits in the U.S. Army; Tyler enlisted in the infantry and Jordan intends to join the artillery. During the parade, the brothers took their oath of enlistment alongside more than 300 fellow future service members. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Aaron C. Phelps)
TORRANCE, Calif. – Twin brothers Tyler and Jordan Bourassa were among hundreds of young men and women who swore their oaths of enlistment into various branches of the U.S. Armed Forces at the City of Torrance 54th Annual Armed Forces Day Celebration and Parade in Torrance, Calif., May 18, 2013.
Both Burbank natives, Tyler and Jordan have followed the same path for 18 years, but soon they will be separated for the first time as they enter into the U.S. Army, each choosing different career paths.
The Bourassa brothers come from a long line of soldiers. Their father and paternal grandfather both served as soldiers. Tyler was the first to decide the military was the path he wanted to take.
“I was about six [years old] when I found out my dad had been in the Army,” Tyler said. “Before that, I thought the Army was the Army, the Marine Corps and the Navy. I thought it was all the Army.
“Then my dad started talking to me about his time in the Army and it was something I decided I really wanted to do.”
Before Tyler even spoke with a recruiter, he knew exactly what job would be right for him - infantryman.
“I wanted to join as infantry because I'm in my senior year [of high school] and I've been sitting behind a desk for the last 12 years,” said Tyler. “I do not want to sit behind a desk for five more years. College just isn't for me. I want to be a soldier.”
With both brothers preparing to graduate from John Burroughs High School in Burbank this week, Jordan only recently decided that he too, wanted to follow in the footsteps of their father and grandfather.
“I was supposed to be the college kid and my brother was supposed to be the soldier,” Jordan said. “Then I started looking at the benefits and Tyler started telling me more about it and I decided that was the way to go for me too. I didn't want to do the same thing as my brother, but I wanted to support [the infantry] and that's why I decided on artillery.”
Although he made his decision later, Jordan will be the first to leave for basic training. He will ship out to Fort Sill, Okla., mid-June, where he will begin training to become an artilleryman. Tyler will follow soon after, as he will depart to Fort Benning, Ga., in late July.
With their remaining time in California quickly coming to an end, their excitement is starting to build. While they had already shared their decision to enlist with friends and family, the Armed Forces Day Parade was their first collective public announcement of their intentions to serve. Taking their oath of enlistment in front of the enormous cheering crowd only added to their excitement.
“Seeing all of these people out here supporting us, it's motivating,” said Tyler.
“It feels great [to see the support of the community],” Jordan said. “It really makes me feel like a part of the team. There's so much motivation from the sergeants and seeing all of these people out here holding flags - it's a great time.”
These young recruits also received a taste of what is to come with some of the other festivities at the Armed Forces Day celebration, as they practiced marching and participated in various team-building exercises.
“I met my first drill sergeant today - he was kind of scary,” Tyler said with a nervous laugh.
With mere weeks left until Jordan ships out, the Bourassa brothers plan to spend their remaining time together, preparing for what is in store.
“Before I leave for basic training, I want to try to hang out with family as much as possible and I'm planning to do at least one really intense hike,” said Jordan.
“After [basic combat training] at Fort Benning, I'm ready to just go wherever the Army sends me, but I would really love to go to Europe,” said Tyler. “Italy or the United Kingdom would be awesome. I really want to see the world.”
By U.S. Army Sgt. Jaime Danielle De Leon
Provided through DVIDS
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