MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP KOREAN VILLAGE, Iraq -- Most Marines deploying to Iraq leave their family at home. That is not the case for one 2d Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion Marine.
Cpl. Michael J. Meermans, a Light Armored Vehicle technician with Maintenance Platoon, recently joined his younger brother Lance Cpl. Brian J. Meermans in Iraq supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
"I knew when my brother joined the Marines there was the possibility of him being deployed, but I never thought we'd be over here together," Michael said.
Brian, an equipment operator for CSSD-25, was excited to see his brother while deployed.
"I am glad that we are over here at the same time and able to see each other," Brian explained. "It is not everyday you can see your brother in Iraq."
As they prepared to deploy, the North Olmsted, Ohio natives really hadn't considered how closely located they would be.
"My brother left a week before I did," Michael stated. "I looked at a map after he left and I saw that we were going to be pretty close to each other.
"When we arrived in Al-Asad, I saw him for a little bit," Michael said. "Then, after I arrived here my brother showed up on a convoy. He was providing security for a 7-ton truck."
The two Marines had the chance to eat breakfast together and Michael also showed his brother around the Camp.
This is Michael's second deployment to Iraq and he is pleased how it is working out so far.
"This deployment is going well. We had a smooth change over and now we are setting up to start our mission," he explained.
The North Olmsted High School graduates' family is supportive of their sons' deployment here but would prefer it if they weren't deployed together.
"Our family thinks that what we are doing over here is a great idea, but they wish that we weren't over here at the same time," Brian stated.
According to Michael, having is brother close is a comfort on this deployment.
"I am sure I'll see my brother again. I might be on a convoy to Al-Asad or he might take another convoy here," Michael explained. "It is comforting to know that we are close to each other."