Twin brothers from St. John to be deployed next week

ST. JOHN | Marine Lance Cpl. Dan Minskey doesn't promise he will come back from Iraq after he and his fraternal twin and fellow Marine, Pfc. Sam Minskey, deploy next week.

Too many military men and women tell friends and family they won't "go" while serving in Iraq, Dan said. By "go," he meant "die."

"I think I'm just going to do my best not to," he said.

The brothers' father, Mark Minskey, chuckled nervously.

"I appreciate that," Mark Minskey said.

Dan and Sam, 19-year-old Merrillville High School graduates, will ship out in mid-September to Ramadi with the 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment based at Camp Lejeune, N.C. Ramadi is the capital of Anbar province, a common dateline on stories of a violent insurgency in its fourth year.

Ramadi is violent, Sam acknowledged. Both men are infantrymen. Dan delicately described their likely tasks as "taking care of business."

Mark and Lori Minskey's home in a St. John subdivision is a shrine to Marine-dom. If visitors miss the red Marine Corps flag above the front porch, they should see the Marine Corps welcome mat at the front door. The family dog wears a Marine Corps collar. So does the cat.

Lori is proud.

"I'm scared," she said.

"But I don't know if Marine parents are allowed to be scared."

Dan and Sam's esprit de corps bloomed early. Weapons technologies and foreign missions appealed to him, Dan said. Sam laughingly pointed to the childhood allure of the Marine Corps' television commercials that suggest being a Marine involves broadswords and mountain climbing.

Dan and Sam -- both tall, slim and quietly jokey -- believe in the war's mission, they said. Both cited the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks as motivation to join the Marines.

"Somebody's gotta do something," Sam said.

Until they leave, Dan and Sam will ride roller coasters, eat pizza and see friends and family. They went fishing Monday.

Dan and Sam both said they aren't frightened yet, but they are ready to be afraid. The words "terrified" and "petrified" come out.

"Grab a straw, suck it up," Sam said.

"They'll be fine," Lori said. "They better be."