Brothers to Deploy Together, Write It Down
Paul X. Rutz
all Army Reserve officers, are deploying to Iraq with the same
division and are planning to chronicle their experiences in a forthcoming
from top left) Army Reserve Maj. Matt Holbert, Capts. David
and Carlton Holbert, and Lt. Col. Buddy Holbert
pose together prior to their mobilization. The four
brothers will deploy to Iraq soon as part of the 108th Division.
working title is "An American Story — The Holbert Family:
Four Brothers Who Serve." Its publisher, Linda Dennis, hopes to
tell the story of the whole family’s struggles as Buddy, Matt, David
their year in Iraq with the 108th Division (Institutional Training).
we had started a book with general essays from a whole bunch
of soldiers," Dennis said. Then "the Holberts stepped
forward, with all four going, and it has gone from a collection
of essays to kind of a story about their family."
president of "Connect and Join," an Internet-based
communications company providing a forum for military families
to keep in touch when their loved ones deploy. She said she
felt humbled meeting the Holberts and seeing the contribution
they are making for the country. "As we got to know them
over a couple-month time period, it became real obvious this
is a very unique family," she said. "This is the
family we think of as ‘the American family.’"
which Dennis hopes to publish in June, will contain journals
and essays written by each member of the family: the four brothers,
as well as their parents, wives, sisters, and children. She
said the family has already written some essays and described
their words as "very powerful."
all about freedom and serving your country and doing what’s
right and how you raise kids the right way," she said.
brother, Lt. Col Buddy Holbert, is a 44-year-old graduate of
the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. He said the family
feels grateful to Dennis for recognizing them and expressed
his amazement that someone would want to publish their words. "We
wrote some little … bios on ourselves and had a couple of
pictures taken, and I understand that someone wants to consider
that as essays for a book," he said. "I can’t say
they’re written well enough for that, but that’s what I’m hearing."
brothers reported to their home station in Charlotte, N.C.,
Feb. 28. Buddy said the nature of their jobs will require all
four brothers to mobilize about a month before most of the
the 3rd Battalion, 518th Regiment (Basic Combat Training),
based in Hickory, N.C. He said he will go with a "leader
element" for a one-month special training course in California
to learn more about Iraqi culture. After that, he’ll go on
a coordination trip to Iraq for two to three weeks before coming
back to Fort McCoy, Wis., to receive the division’s main body.
Once he arrives in Iraq, Buddy said, he will likely be based
in Baghdad, while most of the 108th Division will have positions
throughout the country.
younger brothers, all assigned to the Foreign Army Training
Command’s tactical operations center, will head to their mobilization
station at Fort McCoy March 4 to help set up shop before the
main group arrives for about 70 days of pre-deployment training.
Holbert, a 40-year-old graduate of Winthrop University, serves
in the unit’s security and intelligence branch. He enlisted
in the South Carolina Army National Guard directly out of high
school and served for more than five years before being commissioned
as an officer. With 23 years in the military, David has served
the longest of the four brothers.
Holbert, a 36-year-old graduate of the Citadel military college
in Charleston, S.C., serves as personnel officer for the operation.
He and his wife, Laura, have one daughter, Sharon, 5, and one
son, Clark, 3.
Holbert, 32, also a graduate of the Citadel, serves in the
unit’s operations branch. He and his wife, Karen, have one
daughter, Reilly, 4.
his wife, Tracy, have a daughter, Nicole, 25, and two sons,
Bud, 17, and Jordan, 10 months.
On Feb. 25,
the Holbert family gathered in Rock Hill, S.C., their hometown,
for a going-away dinner. Buddy described the mood as "happy
and picking on each other," and he said he enjoyed the
chance to honor his parents. "We owe a lot of our patriotism
and values to our parents, they pointed us in the right direction
as we were growing up," he said.
have carried all four Holbert brothers through their careers
and will help them when they deploy, he said. "I think
we all have it in our hearts and in our blood," Buddy
said. "Even though we have civilian jobs, we always have
the values of the Army and the country at the forefront. Even
if we weren’t paid, I think that we would still do what we
do. It’s just something that we feel is our duty."