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NEWS | Oct. 20, 2014

Citizen-Soldier brothers from New Jersey deploying to Southwest Asia

By Sgt. Bill Addison 444th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. - As children, Dave and Davis Valentin grew up doing most things together.

As adults, the two Ridgefield Park, New Jersey, siblings still do. Both attend classes at Bergen County College and both enlisted in the New Jersey Army National Guard in November 2013.

Now, privates first class Valentin will deploy to Southwest Asia along with 70 other members of the 2nd-113th Security Forces (SECFOR) Platoon.

“I think it’s good that we get to deploy together,” said Davis, the younger of the pair. “It definitely makes it easier to have somebody you know, somebody you grew up, with deploying with you.”

Affectionately known among their platoon as the “wonder twins” for their similarities in both looks and mannerisms, the brothers spent Oct. 11 saying their goodbyes to family and friends during a departure ceremony at the Jersey City armory.

The two weren’t the only pair of siblings in the formation that day.

Capt. Charles Kratochvil and his younger brother 1st Lt. Christian Kratochvil will also deploy to Southwest Asia with the unit, as part of the Base Defense Operations Center platoon.

Twenty-eight year old Charles received his commission in 2008, the same year his younger brother enlisted in the Army National guard. Christian won’t accept his commission until 2011.

“I always knew I was going to be joining the military, but I had no idea he’d actually come with me,” Charles said.

Being four year’s older than his brother, Charles said that the two weren’t always the closest growing up. He said he’s looking forward to the months deployed together.

“I don’t have to like him, but I have to love him,” he joked. “It’s cool deploying with him. It’s nice to go with someone I’ve known my whole life.”

For Christian, 25, the mission represents the only opportunity he may have to deploy for his country.

“This is the last chance a lot of the fresh new lieutenants and new Soldiers have to deploy for the state of New Jersey,” he said. “It’s their chance to make their mark and to do as much as they can for their country. That’s why I’m proud and excited to go.”