My Twin Brother

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    Jan 02, 2010 4:07 AM GMT
    I've been thinking about my brother a lot recently.

    He is an Airborne Combat Engineer in the U.S. Army. He is currently stationed in Germany.... People often tell me I don't act my age, that I seem more mature, or older. I don't see this. I look at my brother. I see how fast he has been forced to grow up. One should not have to prepare for death until the late years of their life... I cannot fathom that emotional wear.

    He is a mirror of my father, where I am a mirror of my mother. He is stubborn, street smart, charismatic, strong, passionate... I am curious, compassionate, creative, the constant peacemaker or the family. I'm realizing how well we balance each other. We grew up together and always had the same group of friends. We were "The Twins" Not Ben and Jake, but a pair...to everyone. I always felt so different than him, and we never did share details of our lives with each other. Though we could always finish sentences for eachother, and always knew what the other was thinking. We were closer than most family members can hope to be, at the same time, disconnected.

    Now that this war is so real to me (and of course, to him), I cannot help but let my mind go to....that place. When it does, I just think of how unimaginable my life would be without him. The person I would be if I didn't grow up with another half... The friendships I would've (or wouldn't have) forged... The perspective I would lack...

    He felt that the Army was his only choice - he struggled with ADD in school. This is a way to gain discipline, stop his partying lifestyle, and gain reverence and honor, and of course an education. He looks up to my Father for serving for a short time in the Army (though his stories were figments of his pride and imagination - he barely made it through boot camp). I just wish that he knew what this war was about. He has been stationed in Germany for almost 2 months now...and has not seen any of the glamor presented by the Army's ad campaign. I hope his current depression doesn't last. He wanted guns and glory, he got a basement and a computer - temporarily placed in intelligence. I'll never understand him completely. We are two different people. How could someone WANT to take a life? I hope he stays in that basement... I'd rather have him temporarily depressed at a reassignment than dying in the throws of combat... The odds are for him, right? Even if he does get his wish - to blow down doors, clear roads of mines, demolish buildings - the odds are for his survival. But my mind does tend to go to "that place"....

    I want him to be happy, but I want him to be alive! Would he be happy if he were to kill someone?

    I'm gonna stop there. I just needed to vent some of my thoughts and fears...


    Prophets of War

    Systematic Chaos

    It burns deep down inside of me
    We have ourselves to blame
    Not questioning, accepted as the truth

    Debate this fight it's just cause
    The facts do not support theirs
    To liberate a people
    And rid them of tyrant rule

    Is it time to make a change
    Are we closer than before
    Can we help them break away
    Are we profiting from war?
    It's time to make a change

    Intrigued
    Got your attention - Deceived
    Since the inception - Our brave
    Fight for what reason

    Compelled
    Can we clean up this mess
    The loss of loved ones
    A perverse request
    They continue the same rhetoric
    These derelicts that profit
    Win or lose

    Is it time to make a change
    Are we closer than before
    Can we help them break away
    Are we profiting from war?
    It's time to make a change

    Time for change
    Fight the fear
    Find the truth
    Time for change

    The only thing
    That I believe
    Will help us see this through this is faith
    Pray they will forgive
    Forgive our arrogance
    So we could make it right
    Right what they have wronged

    See you sweat
    Unexpected, controversial
    Get used to it
    Things are gonna get personal
    Your sympathy
    A pitiful display you stutter
    Your empathy
    Means nothing if there is no honor
    Responsible
    Of this you are incapable
    We implicate
    Incriminate - Exacerbate - Too much at stake

    Our Fathers, Mothers
    Sisters, Brothers
    Sons and Daughters
    Forced
    Perpetuating their ideals
    A mindless act
    To stay the course

    Is it time to make a change
    Are we closer than before
    Can we help them break away
    Are we profiting from war?

    Is it time to make a change
    Are we closer than before
    Can we help them break away
    Are we profiting from war
    Is it time to make a change
    A change from what it's been
    Can we help them break away
    Is our patience wearing thin
    It's time to make a change

    Time for change
    Fight the fear
    Find the truth
    Time for change
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 02, 2010 5:14 AM GMT
    I didn't realize how much a part of me he was until he left and was sentenced to deployment in Afghanistan.
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    Jan 02, 2010 5:20 AM GMT
    ThePenIsMyTier saidI didn't realize how much a part of me he was until he left and was sentenced to deployment in Afghanistan.



    Your bro is and will always be very important to you. My younger bro was not my twin ...but there was a huge connection. You see 2 weeks prior to his death...I found out he was gay....and so that was a killer.

    I never got to talk about mine and his sexuality together. I have had to figure out why...on my own!
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    Jan 02, 2010 5:40 AM GMT
    Mystic_Man said
    ThePenIsMyTier saidI didn't realize how much a part of me he was until he left and was sentenced to deployment in Afghanistan.



    Your bro is and will always be very important to you. My younger bro was not my twin ...but there was a huge connection. You see 2 weeks prior to his death...I found out he was gay....and so that was a killer.

    I never got to talk about mine and his sexuality together. I have had to figure out why...on my own!


    Selfishly, by BIGGEST concern when he announced his joining the army was to come out to him before he left....

    That was nearly 8 months ago. I still haven't told him.

    Why is that all I can think about? I feel so selfish... But I want him to know.
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    Jan 02, 2010 5:48 AM GMT
    It is not selfish that you wish to share something you feel is a big part of you with someone you feel shares a big part in your self-conception. In other words, it is not self-ish at all to want to tell your brother who you are when, up until now, you both define each other.
  • masculumpedes

    Posts: 5549

    Jan 02, 2010 5:52 AM GMT
    Thanks for this post...you're not selfish...and you have more courage than you know my friend. icon_wink.gif
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    Jan 02, 2010 6:00 AM GMT
    ThePenIsMyTier said
    Mystic_Man said
    ThePenIsMyTier saidI didn't realize how much a part of me he was until he left and was sentenced to deployment in Afghanistan.



    Your bro is and will always be very important to you. My younger bro was not my twin ...but there was a huge connection. You see 2 weeks prior to his death...I found out he was gay....and so that was a killer.

    I never got to talk about mine and his sexuality together. I have had to figure out why...on my own!


    Selfishly, by BIGGEST concern when he announced his joining the army was to come out to him before he left....

    That was nearly 8 months ago. I still haven't told him.

    Why is that all I can think about? I feel so selfish... But I want him to know.



    Your not being selfish...he's your twin and I am sure deep down he knows and will understand. My bro knew who I was when he found my HONCHO all male leather mag.....I just really had no clue about h him. For that matter...I had no clue my best friend was either until he told me. I AM CLULESS>>>>>>lol
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    Jan 02, 2010 6:01 AM GMT
    See? I said one thing about it and the whole post became about my coming out to him...

    It's not about that. It was 8 months ago. Not right now.

    Please read the block of text, not the just the posts below it! icon_razz.gif
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    Jan 02, 2010 6:03 AM GMT
    ThePenIsMyTier saidSee? I said one thing about it and the whole post became about my coming out to him...

    It's not about that. It was 8 months ago. Not right now.

    Please read the block of text, not the just the posts below it! icon_razz.gif

    You posed no questions in the first "block" you just vented, we couldn't responded. The second post was what we respond to because you actually asked us to.
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    Jan 02, 2010 6:07 AM GMT
    Don't worry about it really......Just be happy!!!
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    Jan 02, 2010 6:13 AM GMT
    I would write a letter telling him what you wrote us. Don't take time for granted, especially considering the circumstances. I regret not having told my dad everthing I wanted to say and I will never have that chance again. Take this chance man!

    I was friends with twins in school. They were scary/amazing. The finishing their sentences part...totally. Did you ever start saying the same thing at the same time, or laugh the same way at the same time? I'm just saying the you two share a rare and indelible connection that I would cherish despite all your differences.

    I'm wishing the best for you both.
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    Jan 02, 2010 6:14 AM GMT
    Yay for twins, I am one too!

    I will always remember:
    "You don't look alike, and you don't act alike" to which I would respond: "Why should we, we are brothers not the exact same person" icon_wink.gif

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    Jan 02, 2010 6:15 AM GMT
    n8698u saidI would write him a letter telling him what you wrote us. Don't take time for granted, especially considering the circumstances. I regret not having told my dad everthing I wanted to say and I will never have that chance again. Take this chance man!

    I was friends with twins in school. They were scary/amazing. The finishing their sentences part...totally. Did you ever start saying the same thing at the same time, or laugh the same way at the same time? I'm just saying the you two share a rare and indelible connection that I would cherish despite all your differences.

    I'm wishing the best for you both.


    ha, absolutely. We could have an entire conversation or share feelings about something without one word.

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    Jan 02, 2010 6:22 AM GMT
    Take this chance. Make it count.

    BTW: if he's in intel, I think he'll be safe.

    Best of luck.
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    Jan 02, 2010 6:27 AM GMT
    I always wanted to have a "twin-brother"...just always had a fascination with what kind of havoc we could have caused! LOL! I DO have a sister and a brother...we couldn't be more different if we had to be. LOL! I wouldn't change or trade them for anything...My siblings and I know each other incredibly well.....even better than their spouses on some levels....I don't know that I could ever conceal or hide anything from them for very long. Hell, even now, I get a phone call from one of them or my mom, because they "had a feeling something was going on".... LOL! Love my family....

    Send him the letter with lots of your love and concern for him....honesty and love come through even over long distances and in hard circumstances......trust...that he knows you... Good luck!
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    Jan 02, 2010 6:31 AM GMT
    n8698u saidTake this chance. Make it count.

    BTW: if he's in intel, I think he'll be safe.

    Best of luck.



    Thank you, I hope I can work up the courage to send a letter once written... And I hope he is able to get over religious conviction when he reads it.

    He is only intel temporarily. He will be a combat engineer in Afghanistan. COmbat engineers lead the "front line" if there were one. Sweep the streets for mines, place explosives on doors of vacant buildings, demolish rubble in the path of transport, etc.
  • PipHop

    Posts: 439

    Jan 02, 2010 7:52 AM GMT
    Hey guy, I was in the Marines for 4 years and I can attest to the anxiety you both must be going through right now. I still have friends serving that I wonder about everyday. It's not the same as having a twin brother, but the worry is the same. I know he'll be happy to get any correspondence from home that you send, regardless of any circumstances that may have arisen before his tour of duty. Reach out to him as often as possible and it'll ease both of your fears. There is a very real possibility that your words move him to seek a permanent station in Intel, away from the front line. At the very least, his contact will give you some peace. Best of luck to you both.
  • mynyun

    Posts: 1346

    Jan 02, 2010 8:37 AM GMT
    I don't have a twin or a brother. Just one sister. But I thought about this and maybe you can try it. It may work or it may be the dumbest thing you have heard. But if you want your brother to know how you feel but are anxious about actually telling him or uncertain on HOW then maybe you can write a letter to him BUT as you write the letter write it to someone else with the things you want him to know. Write the letter as though you were writing a RJ post with the things you want him to know OR write the letter like you are writing in a journal and send it to him. Sure he maybe a bit confused by it at first but it will have all the things in there you want him to know and he'll probably understand later why you did it.
    Just a thought.
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    Jan 02, 2010 12:20 PM GMT
    I feel for you, like many of you guys I'm a twin and I was in a similar situation to your brother, being the one far away from home on the other side of the world (although I wasn't in the army).

    Like you, my twin struggled with his sexuality and depression. He ended up calling and emailing me to come out to me and talk about his problems. As a twin I appreciated that, we were always there for one another & it made our bond stronger.

    Like others have suggested you should call or write to him. Despite what he has going on in the military im sure he would rather know how much you love him even if it is by letter or phone. When he does return, your bond will be much closer.

    My own twin formally came out to my parents 2 days ago, where as I came out formally 7 years ago. lol. So now I'm in the role of supporting him through that process which is alot easier for him because we have grown so close since my overseas ordeal.

    I didn't know there were so many gay twins on RJ! I wish my prospective partner is a gay twin! (anyone single & looking??) haha

    Good luck mate!
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    Jan 02, 2010 2:48 PM GMT
    Thanks for this post. I, too, have a twin, and was part of the "jimandjohn" unit growing up. People used to ask, "what's it like to have a twin?" and I would always answer "what's it like not to?"

    We always went to the same schools, and even lived together after college. We were always individuals, but our similarities would always become more pronounced after time spent apart. The longest we were separated was about 7 weeks when I took a semester in college in Europe.

    He moved away about 5 years ago, and it took a long time to get used to him not being around. He was one of the first people I came out to, but it was probably 2 years later. I ended up moving to California to start a new life of my own, and it was a liberating experience.

    I think the most important thing right now is to make sure that your brother knows that you love and support him, making sure that he knows that he has a supportive home to return to. Your life and sexuality is not what his journey is about, and it sounds like he's still coming to grips with his new path. You will always have common ground to meet on, something few other people get to have. You will know when the time is right, and I think you owe it to him to be face to face. Sometimes it doesn't feel like it, but coming out is really the most insignificant immovable object in your path. You don't truly have perspective on it until you are past it.

    As close as you are, you can rest assured that he has secrets you do not know about that he will share if and when the time is right. Until that happens, cherish him and support him.

    Best,

    John
  • RSportsguy

    Posts: 1925

    Jan 02, 2010 3:34 PM GMT
    Archie2010 saidYay for twins, I am one too!

    I will always remember:
    "You don't look alike, and you don't act alike" to which I would respond: "Why should we, we are brothers not the exact same person" icon_wink.gif



    I have a twin sister who is the exact opposite of me. She has dark hair and brown eyes and I was so blonde as a child that my hair looked white and I have hazel eyes. People did not believe we were twins. They thought that one of us must have flunked a grade to be in the same grade!!icon_rolleyes.gif
  • RSportsguy

    Posts: 1925

    Jan 02, 2010 3:35 PM GMT
    jmnicks saidThanks for this post. I, too, have a twin, and was part of the "jimandjohn" unit growing up. People used to ask, "what's it like to have a twin?" and I would always answer "what's it like not to?"

    We always went to the same schools, and even lived together after college. We were always individuals, but our similarities would always become more pronounced after time spent apart. The longest we were separated was about 7 weeks when I took a semester in college in Europe.

    He moved away about 5 years ago, and it took a long time to get used to him not being around. He was one of the first people I came out to, but it was probably 2 years later. I ended up moving to California to start a new life of my own, and it was a liberating experience.

    I think the most important thing right now is to make sure that your brother knows that you love and support him, making sure that he knows that he has a supportive home to return to. Your life and sexuality is not what his journey is about, and it sounds like he's still coming to grips with his new path. You will always have common ground to meet on, something few other people get to have. You will know when the time is right, and I think you owe it to him to be face to face. Sometimes it doesn't feel like it, but coming out is really the most insignificant immovable object in your path. You don't truly have perspective on it until you are past it.

    As close as you are, you can rest assured that he has secrets you do not know about that he will share if and when the time is right. Until that happens, cherish him and support him.

    Best,

    John





    That is such a great story John! My twin sister and I were never really close. We always had different friends and did different activities and such.
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    Jan 02, 2010 3:52 PM GMT
    I can't imagine what you are going through not to mention what your bro is going through. The not knowing period can really make for greater concern many times than what is really the case. Write him as much as you can. If you both have the same friends suggest they also keep in touch with him. The more support he can get from home the better he will feel.
    As close as you two have been there is a very good chance he already knows and is just waiting for you to say something.
    If you do come out to him then you know there are a ton of RJ members that can also send him letters of support!
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    Jan 02, 2010 3:55 PM GMT
    When I was 19, I joined the Air Force. At the time, I was running from my life, nearly ever aspect of it, and felt that I was making the best decision. I would be working, wouldn't have to worry about a place to live, and I would be contributing to society; I also had something to prove, and had the strange hope that the military would somehow make me straight.

    I won't go into the details of my service, but while I don't regret having served, I do regret my reasons for it. Like me, your brother may be seeking a sense of community, security, and brotherhood in a profession that would make his family proud. It could be that he feels somehow inadequate, and this fulfills a need. I very much doubt that he actually wants to kill someone, however; most images of warfare that people see are from the cinema and television, and the reality is very, very different.

    It sounds trite, but try not to worry so much. My younger brother is in the Army (just made Eicon_cool.gif, and he's been a forward observer that entire time. He's seen combat in Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and has found time to start a family. Your brother is in a far less dangerous job, but even so, the numbers are on his side. Besides, negative attracts negative, right?

    Last thought: growing up on the West Side of Philadelphia taught me that it doesn't matter what you do. All of us will live until we die, whether that death is from heart attack and old age, getting struck by a car, or by gunfire. There are no guarantees and no storybook endings. So stay in constant contact with your brother; be supportive, let him know how you feel and how much he means to you. Ask him questions about why he wants guns and glory so you can better understand him.

    Wish I had better advice than that, but I hope the best for you and your brother both. I'm proud that he's serving, and I hope that he finds what it is he's looking for and returns safely home to you all.
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    Jan 02, 2010 4:13 PM GMT
    My god, that was heartfelt post about your twin brother, I can somewhat understand the 'extension' of you that makes his situation so consequential to you. I went to school as a child and through most of highschool being friends with 5 sets of twins in my class, like you they were all quite different, and only one set of twins were identical. But I well remember how close those kids were with each other. I'm sure your brother will do well and keep encouraging him to help him through his depression. I certainly wouldn't think of you as selfish for wanting to let your other half in on your sexuality, so don't be so hard on yourself. Good luck to you !!!!