News: 3rd MAW (FWD) siblings serve together
Story by Cpl. Justis Beauregard
CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – Almost three years ago Lance Cpl. Jack Needham locked his sister in the garage with his recruiter –today they are both in Afghanistan supporting 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward).
Lance Cpl. Jessica Needham, an aviation radio technician for Marine Air Control Group 38, and Jack, a CH-53D helicopter mechanic for Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 363, recently reunited in Afghanistan for the first time since recruit training a year and a half ago.
"I'm always exited to see him," said Jessica. "We always got along before we joined the Marine Corps."
Jack knew he was going to join the military throughout high school. Near the end of his senior year in 2007, at Pittsburg High School, in Pittsburg, Calif., Jack decided to join the Marines. Jessica had graduated in 2005 and attended Los Medanos Community College but was taking a break.
Wanting more for his sister, Jack tricked her into going into the garage where his recruiter was hiding. The recruiter was very good at what he did, explained Jessica. They both signed up for the Delayed Entry Program that day.
"It was pretty funny," said Jack. "But it worked."
Jessica headed to Recruit Depot Paris Island in May 2008 and Jack went to Recruit Depot San Diego two months later. The last time the two saw each other was when Jack graduated recruit training.
"Both of our parents are really proud of us. They love telling everyone that both of us are in the Marines," said Jessica.
After completing Marine Combat Training and their military occupational schools, Jessica received orders to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., and Jack received orders to Marine Corps Base Hawaii. They didn't get to see each other again until last month. Jessica had arrived in Afghanistan in March, and Jack showed up in April.
"I was really excited when I found out he was coming out," said Jessica. "It's great being able to see family all the way out here. I don't miss home as much with him out here."
The two now get to see each other a few times a week.
They also have a brother in high school who plans on joining the Marines.
While many Marines consider themselves brothers and sisters because of a strong Marine Corps bond, at least two 3rd MAW (FWD) Marines are actual siblings.