Three Brothers in Arms
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.
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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