Brothers serve in Afghanistan, meet on Christmas Eve
January 5, 2011
GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan - U.S. Army Sgt. Joel Borchardt and U.S. Army Pfc. James Borchardt, brothers, met on Forward Operating base Ghazni Dec. 24, Christmas Eve, after 11 months of serving separately in Afghanistan.
Joel works on FOB Ghazni, Task Force White Eagle, where he is a liaison for TF Iron Rakkasan. His job is to coordinate operations conducted by TF White Eagle and TF Iron Rakkasan in Ghazni Province. His younger brother, James, has been in Kandahar most of his deployment, but recently, due to the need of more troops in Ghazni Province, was deployed to Andar District here.
Brig. Gen. Andrzej Reudowicz, TF White Eagle commander, visited Polish and U.S. soldiers at their bases with Christmas wishes Dec. 23 and 24. When he learned there were brothers who served so closely, but hadn't seen one another for almost a year, he decided to take Joel to Andar where James serves.
"It was good to see him, to see he is doing OK. He was surprised as he didn't know I was coming. It was good" said Joel.
The Borchardt family lives in Tucson, Ariz., where their mother works in a hospital, and they have five sisters. Joel joined the Army when he was 19. Two years ago, brother, James joined the Army too. Their father is also in the Army and was deployed to Khowst Province two years ago. Now, U.S. Army Master Sgt. Borchardt is back in the United States, still in the Army and serving in Phoenix. "He is very proud of both of us," said Joel.
Joel works with the Polish military every day. When his battalion has a question about information operations, communications, intelligence operations, or any time they need air support, he goes to the Poles.
"Every day we go to the morning meetings, (and) we report what we're doing in the battle space, our area of operations. It was a little rough at first, but now everything is going very smooth," he added."I think our cooperation is very good."
Both brothers are scheduled to leave Afghanistan in February.