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thedrifter
12-29-08, 10:43 AM
Salem brothers, both Marines, reunited for Christmas

By Jarret Bencks
jbencks@eagletribune.com

December 29, 2008 02:28 am



SALEM — It had been almost two years since Adam and Michael LeBlunt had last seen each other.

The two joined the Marine Corps together in 2006, thinking they would serve together, but Adam, 20, came down with pneumonia that delayed his boot camp training.

Since then, the two brothers haven't had many chances to see each other, with Michael, 22, stationed in North Carolina and Adam in California. Last weekend, both finally made it back to Salem to be together in time for Christmas.

They have talked on the phone on occasion, but haven't seen each other since Michael's wedding in January 2007. The pair also had a 10-month stretch where they were both doing tours, one in Iraq and the other aboard the USS Tarawa. During that time, they were never able to speak to each other.

"We didn't talk at all," Michael said. "Maybe a letter, but even that was hard, we would ask about each other through our mom."

Both would talk to their mother, Diana LeBlunt, on a regular basis and could pass along messages on how they were doing through her.

The two had different friends growing up, but always spent some time together, Michael said. Since their return to Salem, they have found little has changed about each other.

"He's still the same as ever," Michael said.

Since coming home to Salem, they have been enjoying time with their loved ones, including Michael's wife, Tanya, and Adam's girlfriend, Stephanie Kirkpatrick.

"We've been spending a lot of time together, trying to do the quality stuff," Diana LeBlunt said. "I don't want to give them up."

But she will have to give them up — soon. Adam is scheduled to return to his training base tomorrow and Michael is scheduled to return Sunday. Then both are scheduled for tours in either Iraq or Afghanistan this spring.

"Once I go back (to camp), I'll be training until the day I leave," Adam said.

Ellie