Brothers Serve Together In Afghanistan
(April 18, 2010)
Army Spc. Brandon Sitton, left, helps his brother, Army Pfc.
Joshua Sitton, strap on a harness before a mission at Forward Operating Base
Orgun, Afghanistan, April 12, 2010. U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt.
||PAKTIKA PROVINCE, Afghanistan, April 15,
2010 – The “brotherhood” that exists among
servicemembers is well known. Members of the
military often talk about forming family-like
bonds with their teammates while engaging in
operations at home and abroad.
For two provincial reconstruction team members
here, that brotherhood runs deeper than any
uniform or exercise. It literally is blood-deep.
Army Spc. Brandon Sitton, a gunner, and his
brother, Army Pfc. Joshua Sitton, a driver, both
from Graycourt, S.C., are deployed together as
members of the security force element for the
team's Orgun detachment.
The brothers are deployed from the South
Carolina National Guard's 1/178th Field
Artillery, B Battery.
“In the Army, everyone's like a brother to you,”
said Joshua, the younger brother by
three years. “In my case, having someone that actually is blood-related serving
right next to me is really special.”
Brandon joined the South Carolina National Guard in December
“I always wanted to join the military as a kid, but I tried
the college thing first, and it really wasn't for me,” he
said. “I joined the National Guard, and it's been great for
The actions of the elder brother altered the life path of
his younger sibling.
“When Brandon got back from one of his deployments to Iraq,
he told me all about being in different countries and seeing
things not a lot of people get to see in their lifetime,”
Joshua said. “It sounded great, so that's basically why I
joined. Now I get to see lots of cool places and have
stories to tell my kids when I'm older.”
Joshua joined the South Carolina National Guard in October
2008. Less than two years later, the brothers were off to
pre-deployment training together at Fort Stewart, Ga., and
later at Camp Atterbury, Ind. They arrived in Afghanistan in
late February and were given the assignment to travel to
Forward Operating Base Orgun with their teammates.
Upon arrival to Orgun, the Sitton brothers were told they'd
be roommates for the duration of their tour. Often, brothers
who are together almost every day don't always appreciate
Not the Sitton boys.
“When we're not deployed, we hang out with each other every
day anyway,” Brandon said. “We live in the same house back
home, and we have pretty much the same friends and hobbies.
It's kind of neat. We're real close, and not all brothers
are. We do everything together, so it's cool to do this
Like a typical older brother, Brandon watches over his
little brother to ensure all is well.
“I pay attention and keep track of him -- make sure he's
squared away. He's on a good crew though, so I don't worry
too much. I know he's being taken care of.”
For many parents, having a deployed servicemember can be
difficult. The Sitton family has two to worry about at once.
“We are the only kids in our family, so it's difficult for
them, but they understand it,” said Joshua. “My mom is a
very proud, very patriotic person. She says as long as I am
serving with my brother, it's a good thing. We can see the
same stuff and have the same experiences.”
“She's actually more comfortable with both of us here,”
Brandon said. “I had a choice whether or not to deploy with
this unit. My mom said she'd feel better if we were both
here together. I was going to come anyway, but I'm glad she
agreed with me.”
Though Brandon and Joshua maintain a mission-first attitude,
the idea of one of them getting hurt is a possibility that
they both face when either of them leaves Forward Operating
“If something were to happen to Joshua while we're here, it
would really affect me,” said Brandon. “If something was to
happen to any of these guys I'm with, I would never forget
them, but we would all go home and live in different places.
If something were to happen to Joshua, though, I would
constantly be reminded of it all the time, because we live
in the same house.”
When not deployed with the Army, Joshua works in a factory
making electrical components, while Brandon is a guitarist
in a band.
“It's real neat to go through this experience with your
brother,” Joshua said. “My Army brother's here. I've known
the Army a year or two, but I've known Brandon for 22 years,
so it's a little closer than someone I don't know much
about, especially when we have the same parents, friends and
lifestyles. Growing up together, we watched each other make
mistakes, so now we're out at a location where you can't
make many mistakes, if any at all, and it's good watching
him take responsibility and being an example.”
"The Sitton brothers are two of my best soldiers,” said Army
Master Sgt. Charles Coleman, the detachment's platoon
sergeant. “They work very hard to accomplish the mission and
keep morale high. During stressful times, they pull together
and pull others with them, and are always highly motivated."
The provincial reconstruction team assists in the
stabilization and security of Paktika province, a large
province located on Afghanistan's eastern border, near the
Pakistan tribal areas. The team assists efforts to provide
health care, development, governance and agriculture needs
of the local Afghan population.
USAF 2nd Lt. Mark Lazane, Paktika Provincial Reconstruction
American Forces Press Service
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