Twin Staff Sergeants Make Holidays in Afghanistan Feel Like Home
By Cpl. Clay Beyersdorfer
December 23, 2013
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KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — The Rulon brothers are no strangers to constantly being around each other, considering they are twins who both live in the Kansas City, Mo., area.
So nothing changed when Adam and Jonathan deployed to Afghanistan.
The Rulons, both staff sergeants serving as squad leaders in the 1438th Multi Role Bridging Company, Missouri National Guard, deployed back in late August. They are in charge of soldiers whose mission deals with the transition of bridge parts throughout Afghanistan.
“Being a twin, we constantly have people confusing us; even people in our own squads will come up to us with issues, and they totally don’t even know it,” Adam said, laughingly. “We have a little fun here and like to confuse people sometimes, but it’s all in good nature.”
Both soldiers are based out of Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, but Adam works with his squad up in Bagram, while Adam works down south at Camp Leatherneck.
Although they have spent only a couple of weeks actually together, even during the holiday season, having family overseas has been nothing but positive.
“Being here together is great,” Adam said. “We constantly are pushing each other and holding each other accountable. It is just nice to have family here, having your brother watch out for you.”
Jonathan couldn’t have agreed more.
“It’s nice to come ‘home’ to that feeling of family. It’s a big relief,” he added.
The twins primarily work on shipping bridge parts out of Afghanistan, as the force size reduces.
Their work, although sometimes “exhausting,” is a different experience for both.
“I enjoy what we are doing out here; I know we are doing something for the bigger picture,” Jonathan said.
Adam went on to talk about seeing the culture and being able to view “another world” while being overseas.
“Seeing the culture out here and being able to see how other people live is a unique opportunity,” he said.
“We have loved every minute of it,” Jonathan added.
Their hard work ethic and competitive nature has rubbed off on their soldiers, as well as their own leadership.
First Sgt. Richard Burns, who oversees the Rulon twins, praised their competitiveness and their ability to lead soldiers.
“Adam and Jonathan really are outstanding noncommissioned officers. They like to compete with each other, and really push their guys,” Burns said. “I know the soldiers look up to them because of that.”
Back home, the two are as close as ever, spending a lot of time at each other’s houses and enjoying family time.
“My wife has been great working at home with our Family Readiness Group, and keeping our own family informed of everything we are doing over here,” Adam said. “We have a great support system back home.”
Jonathan agreed, and summed everything up in one statement.
“Family means everything to us,” he said.
That bond keeps the Rulon brothers close, even during the holidays.
“We didn’t really get each other gifts this year,” Adam said. “But honestly, being here together is enough for both of us.”