Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Band of Brothers to Iraq

Four brothers in the same unit head out for Iraq. "The Scherzberg brothers — Jeff, 27, Brett, 23, and 21-year-old twins Matthew and Justin — will head to Iraq later this month as members of the Iowa National Guard’s 915th Transportation Company, based at Council Bluffs.

Their mother, Connie Scherzberg, said she was terrified when she first learned that all of her boys would be headed out together.

’I called and said, "You know, this isn’t what your mother wants." But then I had pride … I knew it was a wonderful thing to do and I’m very proud of my children for doing this,’ Mrs. Scherzberg said."

Discussions - 3 Comments

I am a "combat" vet circa 1968-69 in Vietnam. During the war, the military had a policy that brothers could not serve in a combat zone at the same time. I was attached to a LRRP unit and my younger brother was in the Navy at the time. He was stationed on an LST in the South China Sea. He requested transfer to "Riverene Operations" but was told he could not enter the country until I DEROS’d back home, which I did in ’69 and then he transfered to MRF in the Delta.

Dosen’t the military have this same policy in regards to Iraq? It all stems from the Sullivan Bros. from WWII.

Just curious,

Rosco: Yes, because of the Sullivans the ACTIVE military does have a policy (somewhere under Title 10 USC) prohibiting immediate family members from serving in the same unit. To my knowledge, however, the National Guard (falling under Title 32 USC until mobilized for active federal service) does not. It is not at all unusual to find parents and children, brothers and/or sisters serving in the same unit. Good policy? That’s a question worthy of discussion. It sure does help recruiting - but I don’t think that’s enough of a justification. (Interestingly, the military also has a little-used policy that permits last surviving males in a family to opt out of serving in a combat zone. It is little-used because most would rather serve than take an easy out -- one of the many admirable characteristics of the vast majority of those serving your country today!).

Thank you, Rosco, for your service in Vietnam. Those of us serving today admire you and your brothers, and are grateful.

My thanks to Rosco as well. This issue speaks to a much larger one, the idea that the Guard and Reserves play such an active role in the nation’s defense, but follow sometimes different rules with regard to policy. Age is also an issue. We have, it seems, many serving in Iraq who are well into their 40’s that would maybe not qualify as active duty members. I do not mean to imply that these folks are not competent, just pointing out another example of how dramatically the face of the military has changed in the last 10 years. It seems that, personnel-wise, we have returned to the militia days of the 18th and 19th centuries. Interesting.

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