Deployed together: A tale of twin brothers

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman
  • 379th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
(This feature is part of the "Through Airmen's Eyes" series. These stories focus on individual Airmen, highlighting their Air Force story.)

Twin brothers often share similar experiences from birth to high school graduation. But only a few can claim to serve in a deployed unit at the same time.

Senior Airman Emmanuel Taveras, an electrical and environmental journeyman, and his twin brother, Senior Airman Carlos Taveras, an aircraft structural maintenance apprentice, can.

The brothers are assigned to the 379th Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron and work in the same building. They arrived at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, in January, only six days apart.

Emmanuel said serving in a deployed location with his brother is a dream come true.

“We always wanted this, to be assigned to the same base,” Emmanuel said. “It’s unique to have that happen, especially at a deployed location; we’re so thankful.”

Carlos said there are benefits to being in a deployed location with his brother.

“Having him here makes the experience so much easier to deal with,” he said. “It can be stressful at times, but having my brother around makes things better.”

The Taveras brothers were born in Puerto Rico and moved to the Dominican Republic when they were 4 years old. At the age of 10, they moved to the Bronx, New York, where they lived until each of them decided to join the Air Force, following in their Uncle Juan’s footsteps.

“My uncle served in the Air National Guard and he was my motivation,” Emmanuel said. “He pushed us to consider serving in the USAF and stressed the education benefits and travel opportunities Airmen have.”

“I wanted to be just like my uncle,” Carlos added. “I never considered joining the military until he did; the military provided me with an opportunity to explore and see things we didn’t get to see.”

Emmanuel enlisted in June 2011, foregoing his last two years of college, while Carlos enlisted two years later after earning his bachelor degree in graphic design.

“I was a little jealous when (Emmanuel) joined,” Carlos said. “At that time, I was thinking about joining. When I heard he was joining and later got orders to Germany, it kind of made me lose my mind because I wanted to travel and see the world.”

Both brothers like to travel and expressed an interest in experiencing different cultures. The duo credit the Air Force with allowing them to pursue their dreams. Between the pair, they’ve traveled to 13 countries.

Prior to deploying to Al Udeid AB, Carlos was assigned to McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas, while Emmanuel was at Misawa AB, Japan.

Carlos said he was very excited when he learned he would deploy.

“I volunteered for any deployment available because I needed a change of pace, but several people volunteered ahead of me,” Carlos said. “So, I held on to hope. Then in October, my shop chief said he needed someone to fill in for someone else who couldn’t deploy. I quickly said yes.”

While Carlos learned he was deploying in October 2015, Emmanuel was already scheduled to arrive at Al Udeid AB in August. Both brothers volunteered for their respective deployments and that decision ultimately brought them together to serve in the same unit.

Emmanuel said he’s hopeful he and his brother will be assigned together again in the future.

“Hopefully, we can get assigned to the same base in Europe or another one in Asia,” he said. “That way we could travel to so many more countries together.”

Carlos joked that Emmanuel could serve as his tour guide since he’s already been assigned to Germany, South Korea and Japan.

“Sure thing,” Emmanuel said.