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Bell brothers reunite at PSAB

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Giovanni Sims
  • 378th Air Expeditionary Wing

As rare as it may seem, it does happen. Family members who serve together in the military can be stationed together or even deploy together. The phrase “It’s a small Air Force” has proved itself true for two brothers currently deployed to the 378th Air Expeditionary Wing.

Senior Airman Jared Bell, a 378th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron vehicle maintainer and Airman 1st Class Joel Bell, a 378th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron defender, are experiencing the first deployment of their careers together at PSAB.

However, before their military careers began, their lives were on separate paths.

“We both went to college after high school,” Jared said. “It took me one year and a lot of money to realize that wasn’t something I wanted to do. I had already gone to MEPS (military entrance processing station) and was at home for a while working odd part-time jobs waiting for my recruiter’s call to leave for basic training.”

While Jared was waiting for his departure date to San Antonio, Texas, his brother was experiencing life a little differently.

“When Jared went to basic training, I was in China for a year as an English teacher,” Joel said. “I couldn’t afford to stay in China and all my plans I had set up fell through, so then I joined the Air Force.”

It wasn’t Joel’s intention to follow his younger brother’s footsteps.

“I needed that financial stability and job security,” Joel said.

As their careers took off, the first two years were spent many miles apart. Thankfully, modern-day technology has kept them close together.

“I was stationed at Royal Air Force Mildenhall in the UK for the first two years before I moved to Dyess AFB in Abilene, Texas,” Jared said. “Joel has been in Massachusettss ever since he joined. We haven’t seen each other for a while, but we FaceTime a lot and that keeps us close.”

Surprisingly, this deployment was a special circumstance for the Bell brothers. While most deployed service members are away from family for the holidays, Joel and Jared spent this past holiday season at the same base.

“I’m happy we’re together. All it took was a deployment,” Joel said jokingly. “This is the first time we’ve been together for Christmas in about three years.”

Even though they are deployed to the same region, their job responsibilities seem to pose another challenge.

“Our work schedules are so different,” Jared said. “We may have had one or two days off, but when we spend time together we watch movies on the laptop or just talk, just us.”

“It’s a good morale booster,” Joel interrupted excitedly.

Although getting together hasn’t been common for Joel and Jared, this tasking accomplished what hadn’t been done in three years, while also keeping the brothers in high spirits during their time at PSAB.