A New Twist on Family Support in the Army

By Raymon R. Bruce, September 23, 2012

My twin brother Robert and I graduated Helena High School in Montana in 1952. Robert wanted to become a CPA and I wanted to teach. However, my father informed us that there would be no funds to send us to college. We would have to get there on our own. We each set out a different plan for ourselves. I was a Sargent in the Montana National Guard. I got a job at the telephone company as an Apprentice Central Office Equipment Installer. I worked in northern Montana installing automatic dialing and electronic long distance phone transmission equipment. I began saving up my money for college. My brother joined the army. In three years he would be attending college under the GI Bill.

Robert Bruce

A long story short, after a year or so, I saw that I wasn’t going to be able to save enough money to go through college very soon. Meanwhile my brother was on track. He was assigned to the First Division in Wurzburg, Germany and had become a Supply Sargent in the Division’s band. I quickly saw that his plan was better than mine. We compared notes. Two things happened. I found out that National Guard personnel could go active into the regular army for two years. Second, my brother researched regulations and told me about a special army regulation the twins could request to be assigned to the same post. H explained exactly how I had to request the assignment to his post during basic training.

Raymon Bruce

With this internally generated family re-strategizing, we both served together nearly two years in the First Division in Wurzburg and later studied together and the University of Montana on the GI Bill. Since I had saved up money from working during summer breaks, then as a Journeyman Central Office Equipment Installer, I was able to buy cars for us. My brother went on to become a CPA and I am now an Adjunct Professor a Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University here at the Albuquerque Center and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Electronic Systems and Technology China (UESTC) in Chengdu, China.

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