Breaking some of the ties of brotherhood can be difficult. Just
ask the Castillo twins – Moises and Macario – advanced individual
training privates assigned to Romeo Company, 262nd Quartermaster
Battalion. The 19-year-olds from Merced, Calif., lived the typical
lives of twins – dressing alike, participating in activities
together and causing identify confusion in their schools and
However, when they graduated high school, they
parted ways for roughly a year and began to develop lives removed
from the one they knew as kids. Moises relocated to the Seattle area
to attend college and Macario stayed behind in Merced.
August 31, 2016 - California Army National Guard Pvts. Moises and
Marcario Castillo, 19-year-old twins, are Water Treatment Specialist
Course students assigned to the Quartermaster School. They both plan
to pursue civil engineering and boxing in college. (U.S. Army photo by Terrance Bell)
The separation bore some hard truths, said Macario.
“To be honest, you are not used to living without that
person you've been living with your whole life,” he said.
“You have this sense of emptiness. You wake up and you're
used to seeing that person and then one day, they're gone.”
Moises said his experience being away from his brother
“When I moved out, I had to kind of do
things on my own instead of talking to him and deciding what
‘we're' going to do,” he recalled of his new life.
Realizing they were friends and confidants needing more time
together to sort out their relationship, they began taking
about joining the Army as a way to correct an abrupt
“We both agreed to join together,” said
Macario. “It was an ‘if I do it, you do it' kind of thing.”
The separation had made both wiser as well. Although
they did enlist during the same time period, both seemed to
give more weight to making decisions based on what they both
wanted and not necessarily because they were twins or shared
“I asked him ‘Are you sure you
want to join?'” recalled Macario of his brother whose
collegiate opportunity was troubled by financial issues.
“‘You don't have to do it if you don't want to,' and he said
he still wanted to do it.”
The Castillo twins joined
the California Army National Guard roughly a week apart as
water treatment specialists. They attended basic combat
training at Fort Jackson, S.C., and arrived here a month
ago. Macario is in his seventh week of the 12-week course
while Moises is in his fifth.
After AIT graduation,
Moises has plans to attend community college in Washington
and pursue a degree in civil engineering at the University
of Washington. He also wants to pursue a spot on the
school's boxing team. Macario also wants to pursue civil
engineering but has not decided upon a college. He plans to
box as well.
Their plans seem to be essentially the
same before they joined the National Guard, but with one
important difference – they have settled with the
realization that a lifetime of sharing cannot be undone with
sudden decisions. It takes time, thought and an appreciation
“It's hard because since we were kids,
we've been together,” said Moises. “Going to college will
have a lot of responsibilities we need to take care of, so
we won't be able to stay in touch like we use to. In high
school, it was easy to just go home and talk about it. In
college, you have to focus on passing and pursuing your own
Macario said he is somewhat torn by the
transition but deems it necessary.
“In a way I think
it's actually good but it's kind of bad,” he said. “I
realize you have to learn to let go and let the other person
pursue his own life or else they can never pursue it as a
person. It's a big step forward in our lives.”
starting their own lives and careers, the brothers still
have much in common: They are National Guardsmen pursuing
the same skill, the same college major and the same sport.
In the latter, it is to their liking to one day face each
other in the ring.
“Since we're in the same weight
class (lightweight), maybe we can eventually fight each
other,” said Moises.
Given the twins' history, a
boxing match would be more like a friendly reunion, tribute
to old times and a toast to what lies ahead.
By Terrance Bell
U.S. Army Garrison Fort Lee
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