CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq -- Most Marines call home in their free time to talk to family, but three brothers deployed here can save that dime.
The Andrews brothers, Kraig, Kolby, and Kyle, are all serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and they have a different kind of brotherhood than Marines usually talk about when describing their camaraderie with each other in a combat zone.
“I never expected to be deployed to Iraq with both of my brothers and all in the same area,” explained Cpl. Kraig L. Andrews, 22, Company L, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division.
Kraig and his brother, 1st Lt. Kyle Andrews, 3rd Platoon Commander, Company B, 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion, find time to meet for the occasional meal here. They will talk about things happening out on the battlefield and back home.
“It’s nice to have someone else, like my brother, to talk to, especially since we grew up really close and now we are deployed in the same place,” explained 1stLt. Andrews, a 2003 Heidelberg College graduate.
Two of the three brothers are active duty Marines while the third, Kolby, is a reservist who recently graduated recruit training. Lieutenant and Cpl. Andrews knew they would be in the same area together while deployed to Iraq. They didn’t know until later that their youngest brother would soon join them.
“It is great that we are all here together because we are on the same rotation and will get to be home together as well,” 1stLt. Andrews explained.
The brothers talk of home and how their wives are doing along with their family back in Ohio. At Camp Lejeune, N.C., the brothers are neighbors, and just as they meet for an occasional meal here, their wives do the same back home. Kyle and Kraig will be spending their first wedding anniversary away from their wives during their deployment to Iraq.
“We are both married and are neighbors back home, and we take time to talk about our wives along with everything we are doing here,” explained Cpl. Andrews, a 2001 Lexington High School graduate. “Our wives spend a lot of time together almost every day.”
They all face tough challenges while working in the streets of Iraq fighting the insurgents. The youngest, Kolby, a Scout Sniper with 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, is separated from his brothers by a short distance, but is able to keep in contact via e-mail.
The brothers get a lot of support from their family back home with everything they are doing here in Iraq.
“As soon as we had deployment addresses for our sons, we passed the addresses on to all family members and friends. There were several churches and schools that were interested in adopting our sons while they were in Iraq, sending care packages and letters,” explained their mother, Renee. “We also forwarded messages and emails with photos to family and friends who wanted to be kept up to date on the latest with our sons.”
Their father, James, was gone with the 1486 Transportation Company in Desert Storm when their sons were young.
“Our father was in the Gulf War and understands what we are going through and our mom supports us all the time,” explained Cpl. Andrews.
“From my viewpoint, it is much harder now because the Marines fighting in Iraq are my flesh and blood, my sons,” explained their mother.
They are waiting for the day when they will be back home together and can share their stories with each other and their family. Each brother is working with their units in support of the Global War on Terrorism, forever remembering the time they spent with each other during Operation Iraqi Freedom.