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BALKH PROVINCE, Afghanistan – When Sgt. Dustin Walser, a fire team leader deployed to Afghanistan with Cherokee Troop, 6th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, decided to re-enlist and extend his commitment to the Army it didn’t take him long to decide who would administer the oath of re-enlistment.
On June 27, 2nd Lt. Jayson Walser administered the oath of re-enlistment for his younger brother, Dustin, in a small ceremony in Balkh province, Afghanistan.
“This was a great opportunity to re-enlist my brother because [opportunities] like this only happen a few times,” said Jayson, platoon leader for Blackfoot Troop, 6th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team.
Separated by only a few years in age, the Walser brothers grew up sharing special moments like these together.
The brothers grew up under the care of their mother in Panhandle, Texas, where they participated in athletics going to state competitions in weightlifting and Jayson being recognized as a member of the first team all state football team.
After high school, Jayson enlisted into the U.S. Marine Corps before going to college at Southern Nazarene University where he earned a scholarship to play football.
Following in his older brothers footsteps, Dustin joined Jayson at SNU and suited up next to him on the football field.
After his freshman year, Dustin decided to enlist in the Army while his brother Jayson graduated college and left for officer candidate school. With their careers headed in different directions it wouldn’t take long for the battle-brother team to reunite.
After graduating OCS, Jayson got his assignment to Fort Knox, Ky., where his younger brother was stationed.
Dustin was able to give him information about the area, the unit, and even informed his Commander who was able to get Jayson into Dustin’s unit, 6th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment.
Jayson’s role of being the big brother often shows as he discussed what he does to keep up with Dustin, “Being in a different troop isn’t much different. I keep tabs on him to inform our mother by reading reports and mission details so I am aware of how my brother is.”
Both brothers are deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom with each troop conducting operations in different parts of northern Afghanistan.
There is no definitive date for when the Walser brothers will return home but that hasn’t stopped them from making future plans.
“I look forward to getting the whole family together when we return,” said Jayson.
Jayson also plans to help Dustin with his permanent change of station to Alaska while spending as much time possible with his wife and kids.