Holloways continue military, family tradition while deployed to Middle East
Indiana National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Jacob Holloway and his sister, 1st Lt. Sara Holloway, talk at a base camp in the Middle East, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020. The Holloways are deployed supporting Task Force Spartan with two different Indiana-based uni... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

This isn't the first time a brother and sister have deployed overseas together.

This isn't even the first time for Indiana National Guard siblings, Sgt. 1st Class Jacob Holloway and 1st Lt. Sara Holloway.

In 2015 the Holloways deployed to the Middle East, while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Now the Holloways not only have two shared deployments under their belts, but have also worked together at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center in southern Indiana.

"My favorite memory has to be when we used to go for runs with a friend we both worked with at Muscatatuck, and we always ran this same route and in one section there's a hill." said Jacob, a heavy construction operator with the 1313th Engineer Company.

"And the friend would argue that it's just a grade. In my definition a grade is a hill," said Jacob.

The camaraderie and memories formed over their numerous years of service not only brought Jacob back to the military after leaving the active Army, but is also a reason Sara enjoys serving in the Indiana National Guard.

"The Guard is my full time job so for me serving in the Guard feels different because I live it every day. I've deployed with several people that I know and always run into someone I know. On each of these deployments I've run into several people that I've played softball with or worked with back home," said Sara, a 38th Infantry Division command operations intelligence center liaison officer.

For Jacob, his military service began 25 years ago.

"I joined the active Army in 1995, served five and half years, did two back-to-back deployments to Bosnia and a tour in Korea and got out in 2000," said Jacob, a platoon sergeant from Austin, Indiana.

The sergeant Holloway, after a 10-year break in service, joined the Indiana National Guard in 2011, just a year after his sister joined in 2010.

"She called me one day and just said 'hey, I'm joining the Guard and going to basic soon' and a year later I called her and told her 'hey, I'm joining the Guard.'"

But for the Holloway siblings, their shared military experience is just the tip of the iceberg in their family.

The Holloway family military history includes two cousins currently serving in the Armed Forces -- one in the Air Force and one in the Navy -- as well as both grandfathers serving in the Army, one having been an engineer himself.

Aside from a sense of family tradition, Jacob re-joined the military for camaraderie and duty.

"I've always enjoyed the military. You get a sense of pride when you put on the uniform, so anytime I've served I've enjoyed it," said Jacob. "Sometimes the hardships from leaving your family back home add up and are difficult, but when it's all said and done I can look back and say I helped there. I made a difference."

Jacob, like his sister Sara, finds himself running into friends everywhere he goes.

"Like Sara said you do run into people all over the place," said Jacob. "I ran into a friend I had deployed with back in 1995, and I hadn't seen him for 20 years and ran into him last deployment, so it doesn't matter how far away from home you get it's still a pretty small world."

It's a small world that the Holloways, siblings from Indiana, have seen firsthand and together. Two times now.