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Deployed Identical Brothers Liesl Marelli

Sgt. 1st Class Mitchell Landers, who serves with the 188th Forward Support Company, 3rd Battalion, 157th Field Artillery, Colorado Army National Guard, 115th Fires Brigade, was happy to visit his identical brother Michael at Camp Ramadi, Iraq, Nov. 12, for the first time since the battalion moved forward from Kuwait last summer.

CAMP RAMADI, Iraq - It's not often that brothers deploy together. It's even more infrequent that two brothers share the same rank, the same battalion and, if you don't know them well enough, you would never be able to tell them apart. Identical twin brothers, Sgt. 1st Class Mitchell Landers and Sgt. 1st Class Michael Landers are a unique pair.

Mitchell is assigned to the 188th Forward Support Company and is based in Al Asad as a liaison officer and Michael serves with Headquarters and Headquarters Battery at Camp Ramadi's Mayor's Cell.

The brothers, both of whom are Colorado Springs, Colo., residents, joined the army together in August 1989 and have lead military careers that paralleled their lives.

The separation has not been easy for Mitchell, he said, who is based at Al Asad, which means he's without the in-person support from his brother and many of his friends with whom he deployed. However, he said he is making the best of it.

"I love my job. Everyone kept telling me that I had one of the best jobs," said Mitchell. "I have the autonomy to do what it takes to support the battalion and that's why I love my job."

Mitchell helps with numerous tasks from coordinating connections at Al Asad to picking up troops traveling through Al Asad's flight line as they transition back. He'll pick them up at the facility; bring them to temporary housing or the chow hall. He'll meet up with the logistical convoys that come to pick up parts and supply items.

With his organic unit miles away, Mitchell has learned to rely on a unit based at Al Asad, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 751th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion. The 751th CSSB lets Mitchell use their office equipment to include their phone lines, photocopier and computers.

Mitchell added his gratitude for Al Asad's many amenities to include numerous chow halls, unlike Camp Ramadi's one and only chow hall.

"Back home in garrison, everyone looks forward to the weekends. I don't have weekends here. So, I look forward to chow," he said laughing.

The brothers were able to spend a few days together since arriving to Iraq in mid-November. Finishing up their second tour together (their first was to Saudi Arabia for the Gulf War) the brothers are able to share experiences together most don't get the opportunity to.

Family is important to the brothers. Mitchell was able to go home recently for the birth of his son. I'll always be grateful for them sending me home for his birth, he said.


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This work, Deployed Identical Brothers, by Liesl Marelli, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:11.13.2009

Date Posted:12.16.2009 02:41

Location:RAMADI, IQGlobe


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