News: Brothers in Baghdad reenlist on mom's birthday
By Capt. James Lowe
BAGHDAD -- On a bright winter's day in eastern Baghdad, two brothers reenlisted for love of country, love of the Army â?¦ and love of their mom back home in Alabama.
Staff Sgt. Brandon Lloyd, two years older than Staff Sgt. Jeff Lloyd, hosted his brother at Forward Operating Base Rustamiyah at the 1st Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 506th Regimental Combat Team headquarters Jan. 28.
Jeff's commander, platoon leader, and platoon sergeant traveled with him from Camp Liberty to witness the joint oath of office.
While Brandon is the older brother, Jeff enlisted in the Alabama National Guard before his brother joined the military. Jeff later enlisted in the active duty Army.
Subsequently Jeff sustained serious injuries in Operation Iraqi Freedom while serving with 1st Cavalry Division in the Baghdad area more than a year ago.
With the love of his family, Jeff recovered and returned to the freedom fight.
The brothers stood together proudly, as 1st Lt. Sangdo Choi, Brandon's platoon leader, led them in the reenlistment oath.
"It is nice to see my brother and hard to describe how much it means to me to reenlist with Brandon," said Jeff.
Brandon went on to describe how, as the older sibling, they remain close from growing up together in the small town of Semmes, Ala., near Mobile. They relied upon and supported each other then and they still do, the brothers concurred.
Just two weeks ago, Brandon volunteered to provide medical coverage so he could visit his brother at the convoy's turn-around point.
Jeff serves as a mechanic supervisor for 10th Brigade Support Battalion, 10th Mountain Division, based at Fort Drum, N.Y. His unit is currently stationed at Camp Victory near the international airport, while Brandon is based out of Fort Campbell, Ky. and currently deployed to the Currahee Cav.
Brandon reenlisted for five years and Jeff for six, and each received a sizable bonus. Brandon also received current station stabilization money, which he says helped him and his wife, Deanna, decide on future plans.
"I'm saving to buy a house with my wife. My mom is in real estate, and we hope she can help us find the right place," said Brandon.
Single brother Jeff said, "I'll pay a few debts and fix up my "79 Dodge hot rod truck."
The brothers know that their mother back home has mixed feelings about them being in Iraq together. "We reenlisted on Mom's birthday on purpose," said Brandon.
"She understands that as noncommissioned officers, we want and need to be here. She knows we both love the military and our country."
The Lloyds hope to see each other a few more times while serving in Iraq. They know that trust as brothers, and their oath as noncommissioned officers in the Army, will keep them going strong.