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.
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.
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.”
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
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
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.”
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
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