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Face of Defense: Soldiers Truly Are ‘Brothers in Arms’

By Army Spc. Curtis Riffle
Special to American Forces Press Service

CAMP TAJI, Iraq, Nov. 20, 2008 – Serving in the Army can be a long, difficult road. For many, the best way to survive is to embrace friends and coworkers along the way, and soldiers often consider their comrades as brothers and sisters. But two Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers are brothers in the literal sense.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Army Capt. Lionel Macklin, left, a native of Ozark, Ala., swears in his younger brother, Army Sgt. Donnell Macklin, during a re-enlistment ceremony at Camp Taji, northwest of Baghdad, Nov. 7, 2008. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Guillermo Allen

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Army Capt. Lionel Macklin and Army Sgt. Donnell Macklin were happily reunited here Nov. 7 to commemorate the sergeant’s commitment to remain a part of the Army team.

Sgt. Macklin serves as a forward signal support noncommissioned officer with the 25th Infantry Division’s Company B, 52nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, based out of Hawaii. His older brother serves as a platoon leader with the 4th Infantry Division’s Company A, 3rd Battalion, 4th Aviation Squadron, Combat Aviation Brigade, based out of Fort Hood, Texas.

The two are natives of Ozark, Ala., and are intimately aware of the bonds that bring “brothers in arms” together. They were able to take advantage of the opportunity for the captain to administer the re-enlistment oath to his younger brother.

“For me, it was an obvious choice as to who was going to swear me in,” Sgt.Macklin said. “I haven’t seen my brother in four years, and for this opportunity to present itself, there was no other way I would have it done.”

Capt. Macklin said he shares his brother’s pride and enthusiasm, and that he was honored not only to attend his brother’s life-making decision, but also to conduct the ceremony.

“This is a great honor for me, for our family [and] for him to let me do his re-enlistment,” he said.

Both brothers will continue to serve in their respective units for the duration of the deployment, and both said they hope to visit home during their block leaves to share their experiences with the rest of their family.

(Army Spc. Curtis Riffle serves in Multinational Division Baghdad with the 25th Infantry Division’s Company B, 52nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team.)

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