View Full Version : Band of Four Brothers With Values of Service Come Home From War for Holidays

12-25-08, 07:19 AM
Military Family Reunites at Christmas
Band of Four Brothers With Values of Service Come Home From War for Holidays

Dec. 24, 2008—

From the streets of Iraq to the mountains of Afghanistan, all of Christine Jason's four sons have proudly served our country.

"It's worrisome. I've done seven tours of duty," she said, referring to the total number of tours her sons have done.

Jason, a single working mother, said she came through a bad divorce to raise her four sons in Sarasota, Fla. She instilled in them values like self-discipline, loyalty and integrity that would serve them well as all four grew up to join the military.

"The military reflected our family values," Michael Jason said.

Between the four of her sons, they have been deployed seven times to Iraq and Afghanistan, with more tours ahead. Michael Jason, 35, and Marc Jason, 28, are both in the Army, Chris Jason, 32, is in the Navy and Nick Jason, 24 is in the Marines.

For the last 15 years, the four brothers have been traveling, in training or in battle at Christmas time, until now.

"It's a miracle," Christine said of the chance to have her sons all home for the holiday.

These brothers have seen so much violence, but also some stability. Through it all, they wanted to stay together and had the rare experience to serve in the same wars with each other. "It adds a whole different level to our relationship," said Marc, an Army second lieutenant with two tours under his belt in Iraq. "We're now professional colleagues as well as brothers. ... It brings us that much closer together, it is such a bonding experience."

The eldest brother, West Point graduate Maj. Michael Jason, has always been the general of the family, according to his mother. He keeps everything organized and planned, not the least of which is any communication from a Jason brother to their mother while overseas. He does not want her to worry. Michael was also with ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff when he was injured three years ago from an IED in Iraq, and provided 360-degree security and counter attack.

Nick Jason, the Marine, who has served two tours in Iraq, was injured that same year when an insurgent shot at his vehicle, piercing the armor and knocking him unconscious. His body protection saved his life.

Brothers' Bond Stronger Than Ever

"It's tough. My worst moment in Iraq came when I got word Nick had been hurt," Michael said. "I didn't know what was going on."

Nick lost some of his memory and suffered mild traumatic brain injury from the attack. A psychiatrist is helping him with depression. He has always loved to play the bagpipes and carried them to the sand of western Iraq, which helped him relieve stress.

He said that when he plays the bagpipes, he is in "my own element, everything else disappears."

Michael, Nick and Marc Jason all made it home to their mother's house in Sarasota early Christmas week, but Chris found himself stuck in Seattle because of a snowstorm.

Bad weather wasn't going to stop this Navy lieutenant commander, who flew missions on the "shock and awe" stage of the Iraq War and later in Afghanistan. His brothers tease him about his aviator role in warfare, with a regular punch line: "Chris goes to war and eats ice cream at night on the carrier."

Somehow, Chris was able to get a flight and made it home to celebrate Tuesday night; his family met him at the airport.

"It hardly ever happens." Chris said. "Last time was '93 ... that's a long time."

Despite all that they have faced in war, the brothers feel stronger and closer than ever. Two brothers lost best friends in Iraq, two came home to realize that quick pre-deployment marriages wouldn't work, and one suffers from mild traumatic brain injury and memory loss, but all say they will probably go back to war again.

And this week, they are glad to finally be back home together with their mother for the holidays.