Looking Out For Big Brother
(September 8, 2009)
Capt. Bryan Lucero (left) and his younger brother 2nd Lt. Nathan Lucero are deployed together at an air base in Southwest Asia. As an aircraft maintenance officer, it is Lieutenant Lucero's job to ensure his brother's aircaft
are fit to fly. The brothers hail from
SOUTHWEST ASIA (9/1/2009 - AFNS)
An aircraft maintainer's
job is to ensure the safety of his aircraft and its crew, but for one
maintenance officer here, the stakes are raised when his older brother is at the
controls of an airplane.
Growing up, Capt. Bryan Lucero always looked out for his younger brother, 2nd
Lt. Nathan Lucero. But since being reunited at an air base in Southwest Asia,
the tables have turned and it's now the younger Lucero's job to take care of his
big brother as the lieutenant is the 5th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance
Squadron officer in charge and Captain Lucero is an 817th Expeditionary Airlift
Squadron C-17 Globemaster III pilot.
Lieutenant Lucero was always following his brother growing up in Albuquerque,
N.M. When soccer became his brother's sport of choice, Lieutenant Lucero
followed suit. He would tag along to parties and even share the same friends.
When Captain Lucero dropped out of college and joined the military, it seemed as
if that's where their paths might split. |
Captain Lucero would spend four years as an enlisted Airman in signals
intelligence, before accepting an ROTC scholarship that would ultimately alter
both his and his little brother's life.
"My brother was the No. 1 reason I joined the Air Force," Lieutenant Lucero
said. "I saw what his life was like, so I thought I'd give it a shot."
Even after earning his own ROTC scholarship, Lieutenant Lucero never imagined he
would be working with his brother.
"I wanted to be a cop," he said. "I wanted to go into (the Office of Special
Investigations). I never wanted to work with aircraft."
But that plan didn't work out for Lieutenant Lucero. And when a job in aircraft
maintenance fell into his lap, he hopped on board and hasn't looked back since.
That was six years ago, and now the two brothers are finding that being deployed
with a sibling, in a closely related career field, adds an interesting dynamic
to deployed life.
"When I know he's flying, it's constantly on my mind," Lieutenant Lucero said.
"It's my job to make sure that aircraft is safe. Every time a plane takes off, I
have to be able to say I would trust putting my family on it, and here I
literally have to mean it."
Lieutenant Lucero knows his brothers job, delivering personnel, supplies and
equipment to the AOR is dangerous, so when he is able, he drives out to meet his
brother and welcome him home.
"It's pretty great to come back from a mission and have the first person I see
be my little brother," Captain Lucero said. "It has actually made my last two
weeks here a little tougher. On one hand I can't wait to see my family back
home, but on the other hand I've enjoyed the last two weeks, spending time with
More than just seeing his little brother on a regular basis, Captain Lucero said
he still enjoys taking care of his younger brother and helping him a grow as an
"He has so much responsibility here," Captain Lucero said. "There have been some
occasions when I was able to offer guidance to help him out. We've been able to
talk a lot about our job. We have a better understanding of each other's job
now. It has brought us closer and made us better at what we do."
Article and photo by USAF SSgt. Shaun Emery
386th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
Air Force News Service
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