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Three Brothers in Arms

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Parsons Band of Brothers 2006 in Iraq (L-R): Lt. Charlie Parsons, Capt. Huber Parsons III, Capt. Bill Parsons (courtesy photo)

All three brothers are members of the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, a Stryker Brigade Combat Team from the Army's Fort Lewis, south of Seattle.

The elder twins are Capt. Bill Parsons and Capt. Huber Parsons III and the younger brother 1st Lt. Charlie Parsons, who also has a twin sister, Christine, a teacher in Jackson, Miss. "I think the most important thing as a sibling of a soldier or multiple soldiers in Iraq is just we need to be supportive of them and let them know we're thinking about them, said Christine, "the best way is by e-mailing them, writing them letters, encouraging them, to know they are not alone we support them and we support their decision of serving their country."

Though the Parsons are in the same brigade, they have little opportunity to see each other. All three brothers attended West Point. Bill graduated No. 1 in his class.

Does the military have a rule that siblings cannot serve together in a war zone?

According to Fort Lewis spokesman Joseph Piek; the army does not have a policy against siblings serving at the same time and doesn't keep a database. Piek adds that families usually make the decision to not be in the same location of their own accord.

Huber R. Parsons Jr. is very proud of his three sons. "We're happy that they are doing what they want to be doing, we're also praying, a lot," he says.

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The Entire Parson Family (courtesy photo)

The family has already endured several of the twins' deployments. Huber Parsons III spent a year in Iraq in 2003 and Bill Parsons was in Kosovo on a peacekeeping mission around 2002. Bill Parsons then deployed twice each to Afghanistan and Iraq on three-month missions. This is Charlie Parsons first deployment.

Earlier this month Capt. Huber Parsons III was quoted in news accounts from a big battle in Baqouba a Baghdad suburb. "They threw everything at us --- RPGs, mortars ---and a guy even tossed a grenade just in front of my vehicle. "

That has to be chilling reading for Phyllis Parsons, the mother... "I'm thinking of all three of them, and I know they are in the same area, and sometimes I watch the news and I read the newspaper and then I go for days and I don't read anything. They told us that anytime there's an operation going on in Baghdad that usually one, two, or all three are involved in it. "

Tonight NBC's George Lewis will report from the home front where the Parson's family waits day-to-day for the day when the family can all be together again.

Until then, if the NBC News team in Iraq meets the brothers, Phyllis sends this message: "Just tell them that we love them, that we are praying for them and we're looking forward to welcoming them home later this year." 

And Dad Huber adds:  "I would say to our sons to do their best, accomplish all their missions with honor and to bring back all of their men. "

Twin sister Christine knows she is unique to have three brothers at war but feels she is not alone." My brothers aren't the only ones over there in Iraq there are thousands of other soldiers there doing the same thing, so I think its important to know as a sibling I support all those other families going through the same thing." 

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COMMENTS

A truly wonderful story of a family dedicated to the finest ideals. I'm also a Parsons...Charles William, aka Bill and now in my 78th year. In studying my Family Tree and arriving back in 1525, I always had the sense of belonging to a clan who were supportive to others and trustworthy...not a bad egg in the 450 or so in the extended family. God speed and keep you and your men safe for happy family re-unions.

Despite the 'politics' involved, w/ Iraq . . . I would hope, by now; it's generally understood people shouldn't be faulting soldiers in Iraq, for what they do there. Being a Veteran; I would wish to explain something to civilians reading this. There is a 'chain of Command' in effect, where subordinates are required to obey the orders of superior authority, but; there is also an issue w/ 'unlawful' orders, which a soldier doesn't HAVE to obey. The problem w/ this is that if you don't, you have to show "cause"; implying that someone whom disobey's an order is ASSUMED guilty of an offense, unless they can prove to authority they HAD 'cause'. Iraq IS an illegal war, because we went in under false pretenses ! Nobody in uniform will 'push' this point because of what happened @ Abu - Ghraib. Even though soldiers were ORDERED to "soften - up" prisoners, for interrogation by CIA officers - that were given authority to do so; the soldiers were prosecuted, when this "went public", & NO CIA officers were ever sanctioned ! The military's UCMJ wasn't designed to handle such 'translucent' situations.

Shame on MSNBC for firing Don Imus. If his intemperate remarks, as bad as they were, justify firing him, the list of those to be fired must be very long indeed. It really is sad that the good he has done is not enough to make the 2 week suspension sufficent punishement for a truly stupid mistake. I do not like the direction this whole insident has taken. Again, shame on you for your over reaction to a truly sad incident.

Hello to allthree of you, I will be praying for you and stay strong. Great job that you are doing for this country. p,s all of you are very cute!

These three brave young men reflect obviously solid and wonderful parenting: they have devotion to a loving family, a deep and abiding faith and a profound sense of both honor and of duty. All of those things, Huber and Phyllis, are gifts instilled in them by the two of you. As a parent, I hope to do half as well with my sons as you have with yours. Please know that your boys - and your entire family- remain in my thoughts and prayers ceaselessly.

The dedication and willingness to serve others are characteristics practiced by the Parsons Clan for the 35+ years I have known them. The exceptional service and accomplishments of these young leaders, and their teams, should be appreciated and prayerfully supported by all of us, who enjoy the enormous freedoms of American citizenship, guarded by their protective umbrella. We request to see the news industry convey more balanced reporting, which would include the many positive activities being accomplished by our brave and effective military forces.

In 1962, General Douglas MacArthur addressed West Point students and left them with these words: "Duty, honor, country: Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying point to build courage when courage seems to fail, to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith, to create hope when hope becomes forlorn."

I have had the privilege of meeting the Parsons family. All of them are wonderful. Charlie, Bill and Huber embody the spirit of courageous soldiering and duty to country so eloquently expressed by General MacArthur. So long as our country produces men like them, our democracy is safe and the world---including Iraq--- can have hope for a brighter future.

May God continue to bless them and protect them.

We know one of the brothers who is marry to our friends' daughter. We admire the Parsons family for their dedication and loyalty to this country, as well as Jesus Christ and the peace on earth He came to bring. Their commitment is a true inspiration to all of us.

Having known the Parsons family since 1975 when we met in England, we feel we can honestly say that this family must be one of America's finest! We are proud to call them our friends and know that all three brothers will look after their men and serve their country with honour. We look forwards to their safe return.

Thanks, MSNBC, for posting this encouraging story. There is a lot of good news to be reported from Iraq, and I appreciate your willingness to do that in this case. I'll be watching for more stories like this--and would it be too much to hope for some news from the locals about positive results of our involvement there?

Wow! Two sets of twins in one family is amazing! To have all three in the same army regime is amazing too! Praying for you all daily!

We know Charlie very well. We also know that all three brothers are followers of Jesus Christ and wish to honor His Name

Men of such bravery and dedication always deserve to be recognized. Equally important are the parents whose anxiety and pride cannot be over-stated. Congratulations and great outcomes to all.

These brothers exhibit such honor and dedication to their country. May they complete their mission well and stay safe always. Our thoughts and prayers are with them everyday of their mission. And may they return safe and sound to their family. God Bless our brave military. Peace to all!

Thank you for posting this story. And thank God we have men like the Parsons brothers - and families like theirs - who are willing to serve their country like this. They deserve our support.

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