Face of Defense: Air National Guard Brothers Deploy Together
By Air Force Senior Airman Desiree W. Moye
386th Air Expeditionary Wing
SOUTHWEST ASIA, April 23, 2014 One benefit of having family members serving in the military is the rare opportunity that allows them to serve together in a deployed location.
Air Force Tech. Sgt. Luis Morales Talento, left, Air Force Senior Airman Walter Morales Talento, and Air Force Airman 1st Class Guido Morales Talento are deployed to Southwest Asia together. They are Air National Guardsmen from the 146th Airlift Wing, Channel Island Air National Guard Station, Calif. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Desiree W. Moye
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
It has been a major comfort to three California Air National Guard airmen assigned to the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing together. The Morales Talento brothers are deployed from the 146th Airlift Wing, Channel Island Air National Guard Station, Calif.
The eldest, Air Force Tech. Sgt. Luis Morales Talento, is a supply specialist with the 386th Expeditionary Maintenance Group. His brothers – Air Force Senior Airman Walter Morales Talento, a maintenance operations center controller, and Air Force Airman 1st Class Guido Morales Talento, a crew chief -- serve with the 386th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.
In 1992, when Luis was 8 and Walter was 4, they moved to the United States from Guatemala with their parents. They said they believe they are living out their late father's dream of serving in the U.S. Air Force.
"I'm really proud that we have fulfilled a lifelong dream our father had for himself and for his boys," Walter said.
As they grew up in a household that was both humble and authoritarian at times, the brothers said, their father was always supportive of the military. They remember him taking them to air shows each year, igniting a fire of patriotism in each of them.
"Every time we saw an American flag, my dad continuously reminded us and never failed to proclaim, 'That's your flag, boys,'” Luis said. “I did not connect the dots until I joined the Air Force and understood the powerful meaning behind the pride our flag solidified."
Many years after those memories, each brother decided to serve his nation by enlisting in the military. Luis joined in 2004, and never lost hope that Guido and Walter would follow suit.
Before he followed suit and enlisted, Walter said, he admired his brother’s contributions to their state and their nation. After hearing so many positive stories about the military, he added, he made his decision.
"I just became inspired to follow in his footsteps,” he said. “I chose the [Air National Guard] over active duty because it allowed me to finish school, be able to live close to my family, and more importantly, serve with both of my brothers on the same base."
Guido, the youngest brother, needed more coaxing before enlisting. To help him make his decision, Walter and Luis voiced told him about opportunities he wouldn't find on a recruiting brochure by sharing their individual perspectives.
"After my first brother joined, I was sad, because he had never been away,” Guido said. “I definitely have a strong sense of pride in my country, but did not want to leave home. Essentially, it was my oldest brother, Luis, [who] recruited me by taking me to the base, showing me around and showing me what I could accomplish. It further encouraged me to join when Walter did."
Being able to talk about common experiences and share similar comforts from home while in a deployed location is perfect for growing resilient bonds, the brothers said. Though they work different shifts, they make it a priority to check up on one another as often as possible and participate in activities.
"I really feel blessed to have both of them here with me during my first deployment overseas,” Walter said. “I love the fact that we hang out, enjoy meals together, work out, and even joined the base honor guard together.”
Luis said he constantly reminds his brothers of little things that can help them be the best airmen possible, and that Guido pushes them all to stay physically motivated.
"I am proud to say that each of us has won first place in different events here around the base,” Walter said. “We hope to come in first place in the half marathon coming up later this month."