Operation Tribute to Freedom

OTF Soldier Story for June 28, 2010 - 1st Lt. Liliane Delva and Warrant Officer Luny Delva

First Lieutenant Liliane Delva

Name: 1st Lt. Liliane Delva
Current Unit: 3rd Sustainment Brigade
Current Position: Human Resources Officer
Component: Active Army
Current Location: Joint Base Balad, Iraq
Hometown: Miami, Fla. and Savannah, Ga.
Years of Service: 5

Warrant Officer Luny Delva

Name: Warrant Officer Luny Delva
Current Unit: 345th Military Intelligence Battalion
Current Position: All-Source Intelligence Technician
Component: Army Reserve
Current Location: Fort Gordon, Ga.
Hometown: Miami, Fla. and Savannah, Ga.
Years of Service: 9

As young girls, identical twins 1st Lt. Liliane Delva and Warrant Officer Luny Delva did everything together. “We were inseparable growing up, and although the Army has physically separated us, we are closer than before,” said 1st Lt. Delva.

Their sisterly bond has weathered tests of both distance and time as multiple deployments throughout the United States and Iraq kept them apart for much of the past decade.

When the duo joined the Army, they knew the distance would be hard, but they were committed to serving their country.

“I was attracted to the independence of the Soldiers, their ability to challenge their minds and bodies, as well as the individual choice to sacrifice themselves for a belief or cause. The Army epitomized what I wanted to be in life,” said Warrant Officer Delva, who participated in the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps program in high school.

Once she decided to enlist in the Army after high school, she persuaded her sister to sign on as well.

“I convinced my twin sister that she should join the Army with me, so that we could experience this adventure together,” she said. “I will admit, though, that during Basic Training I was wondering what I had gotten us into!”

Although the twins could have served in the same unit, they decided to use their individual strengths to serve the country best—one entered the human resources field and the other opted for intelligence work. Since making that decision, 1st Lt. Delva graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 2008, and Warrant Officer Delva recently completed Warrant Officer Candidate School (WOCS) at Fort Rucker, Ala.

“My sister discovered her strengths and weakness, and I, in turn, discovered mine. So instead of constantly having to be together, we were comfortable being apart from each other, and living our own lives,” said Warrant Officer Delva. “The Army has changed me and my sister for the better. We are more disciplined and have grown up a lot through our experiences.”

While 1st Lt. Delva agreed with her sister, she also noted the difficulty of watching her sister deploy.

“When Luny deployed in 2002, I was stationed at Fort Drum serving with the medical corps and I knew I wouldn’t be able to deploy. It was very hard, especially because it was early in the war and no one really knew what to expect,” she said.

“Warrant Officer Delva served in Tal Afar, Iraq in 2002-2003 with the 311st Military Intelligence Company, and her unit was responsible for collecting intelligence data regarding potential threats and terrorist groups within the northwestern region of the country.

Now that 1st Lt. Delva is deployed to Balad, Iraq with the 3rd Sustainment Brigade, she has witnessed the progress that has been made overseas over the past several years.

“Hearing what Luny went through when she was deployed has helped me realize how grateful I am for the current conditions in Iraq,” she said.

She arrived in April and is responsible for managing all the postal units in Iraq and ensuring that Soldiers receive mail and postal services while they are in theater. Knowing how important letters from home are for deployed Soldiers, 1st Lt. Delva takes great pride in her work. She also enjoys the opportunity to occasionally travel and explore the country.

When Warrant Officer Delva graduated from WOCS earlier this week, her sister was able to come home on leave to help celebrate her sister’s accomplishments. While 1st Lt. Delva is back, the twins plan to spend their time together traveling with family and working on several projects for the house that they co-own in Savannah, Ga. In early July, 1st Lt. Delva will return to Balad to continue her work as a postal officer, and Warrant Officer Delva will arrive in Baghdad, Iraq shortly thereafter. Although the twins will only be able to see each other a few times, they are excited to serve overseas concurrently.

“I was very excited that our timeframes matched so well. I am happy that we will be in the same country, and that I can have a better idea of what is really going on rather than watching the news and imagining the worst,” said Warrant Officer Delva.

1st Lt. Delva agrees with her sister, but also knows it will be hard for their parents while they are both overseas.

For both sisters, they are proud to serve their country in uniform and plan to continue to serve for many more years.

“I am proud to serve in the Army Reserve because it grants me an opportunity to serve my country, but at the same time, I have the flexibility to have a separate career and a more stable home life,” said Warrant Officer Delva.

And for 1st Lt. Delva, she is happy she decided to join the Army with her sister.

“When I look back at my life, I am proud to be a Soldier,” she said. “There is no other organization that provides you with an outstanding ethical framework and the opportunity to impact so many people’s lives. The Army truly takes care of its Soldiers, affording them opportunities that many other organizations do not.”

Telling the Army Story: Community Relations

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