CAMP VICTORY, Iraq - Deployments can strain sibling relationships. They can make it harder to maintain a closeness that is solidified by the other's presence. Two brothers have been lucky enough not to have that strain in their relationship - even if only while in Iraq.
Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Greene, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 10th Mountain Division, operations noncommissioned officer-in-charge and his brother, Robert Greene, Science Applications International Corporation, database administrator have been able to spend time together while in country.
The brothers, both Ellenville, N.Y. natives, said being here together has made them more appreciative of each other.
"There were years when we didn't have time to get together," said Daniel. "I would say (being here together) brought us a lot closer."
Daniel and Robert try to get together once or twice a week to have coffee, dinner, reminisce about their childhood and talk about their families. The brothers even call home together.
The brothers have not always been able to spend so much time together. When Daniel was 10, Robert joined the Army and is now retired. After Daniel joined the Army the brothers rarely saw each other, but still can't see themselves any other way. For them, it's a lifestyle.
"You grow up from a teenager and this is mostly what you've done, maybe a couple of odds and ends jobs, but it grows on you," said Daniel, "it's part of your family, part of your history - always being around a military installation - it's part of your culture, a family tradition."
Being here together has allowed the brothers to provide each other with moral support.
"That's what brothers are for," said Robert. "That's what family is for."
For Daniel, it feels like a vacation when he spends time with his brother.
"Just having family around takes you out of Iraq for just that moment," he said.
The brothers say their whole family is close. Their sisters all settled around their mom to take care of her and the brothers would always try to plan leave together so the whole family could be together.
With such a tight-knit family, worrying about both brothers might be normal, but the brothers say their family is comfortable with both of them being here. That wasn't the case at first.
"Mom was a little worried at first, but her knowing we're here to take care of each other is a benefit," said Daniel.
The Greenes know they have something that most people don't and are thankful for one another.
"It's awesome," said Daniel. "It's one thing to have your fellow Soldiers and civilians with you, but to have family - that's special."