|We grew up together; now we're soldiers together. My name is SSG Ken S. Wilson, and my sister, PFC Earnestine S. Wilson (both from Topeka), are a brother-and-sister team serving with the Ft. Leavenworth based Kansas Army National Guard HHC 35th Infantry Division (FWD), which is deployed to the Balkans to support Multinational Task Force East KOSOVO Force 9, CAMP BONDSTEEL, KOSOVO. Of course our sibling rivalries take a back seat, but we are both ready for the challenges as siblings and soldiers in the 35th Infantry Division in the Kansas National Guard.|
"It's good to have someone there with you, not just a friend, but family. “If I go on a mission and come home to the base, I'll know my brother is there," my sister tells her friend as we sit down for dinner in the chow hall. But I think it’s also stressful because there is another person to worry about. It is nice to have a family member along for the deployment for a change considering this is my third deployment in four years after serving two tours in Iraq back-to-back. My sister was eager to have my back, and I know she will be there for me no matter what. "It's not unusual to have siblings serving together, but this is the first brother-sister team deployed in KOSOVO history as it stands up as its own country. We are both prepared for this challenging mission after several months of training at Camp Atterbury, IN.
It is always a good thing to have family support. We've always looked out for one another and we'll watch each others’ backs," my sister states, talking to a professor as we depart from a University of Maryland college class on post. The only drawback is if something would happen to one or the other being here I don't know what our reaction would be. Overall I see it as a positive. We do everything together, and it's a positive for KOSOVO and the people of KOSOVO, as well. To have my sister along for this deployment is a blessing. We can always discuss family and personal matters together and this makes us strong, Army Strong.
SSG Ken S. Wilson & PFC Earnestine S. Wilson
Both of Topeka, KS, the Wilsons look a lot alike and have a close bond. They are the youngest two of four siblings.