Face of Defense: Soldier Siblings Serve Together
By Air Force Airman 1st Class Laura Goodgame
Regional Command East
PAKTIA PROVINCE, Afghanistan, May 4, 2010 Sibling rivalry isn’t a problem for a brother and sister from Collegeville, Pa., who are serving a deployment here together.
Army Pfc. Jessica Kimball and Army Pvt. Logan Yost pose for a photo May 3, 2010, at Forward Operating Base Lightning in Afghanistan’s Paktia province. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Laura Goodgame
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
“My brother was my best friend growing up; he was all I had,” said Army Pfc. Jessica Kimball, 20, a mechanic assigned to Company B, 82nd Division Special Troops Battalion out of Fort Bragg, N.C. “I didn’t have the picture-perfect childhood.”
Kimball was 11 when her grandmother died, and she was placed into her brother’s family for foster care. She said her brother, Army Pvt. Logan Yost, 21, an infantryman assigned to the same unit, always took her under his wing.
Kimball said she planned to go to college, but couldn’t afford it. After hearing about GI Bill education benefits, she decided to see a recruiter.
“The recruiter mentioned the opportunity to go Airborne, [and] being of competitive nature, it intrigued me,” she said. “I talked it over with my brother. He did not want me to go alone, so we both joined the Army together.”
After basic training and Airborne School, the siblings were assigned to the same airborne unit. Soon, they deployed to Afghanistan, where they have been on several missions together and look out for each other.
“Sometimes we would be outside the wire for several days in a row,” Yost said. “At night, we would all take turns staying awake to pull security. When it was Jessica’s turn, I would go sit with her to keep her company so she wouldn’t be alone.” His sister returned the favor when it was his turn for security detail, he added.
“I feel for anyone who has siblings in the military,” Yost said. “We are lucky to have gotten stationed together, because most of the time siblings get split up and sent halfway around the world from each other.”
The siblings already were close when they joined the military, they said, but their time in Afghanistan has made their bond stronger.
“The deployment has brought us closer together,” Kimball said. “It is like a hardcore friendship, and it is comforting to know someone has your back in a foreign country away from anything we’ve ever known.”