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NEWS | April 12, 2011

Charleston Airman spends time with Thunderbird brother

By Airman 1st Class Jared Trimarchi Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

An Airman from Joint Base Charleston received a visit from his older brother, a member of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds during his stay for the Charleston Air Expo 2011.

Tech. Sgt. Ted Braun, logistics noncommissioned officer-in-charge for the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and an air transportation craftsman by trade, showed his younger brother Senior Airman Nick Braun, a 437th Aerial Port Squadron air transportation journeyman, the ins and outs of one of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbird F-16s which was here to perform during the Air Expo.

As a logistics NCOIC; Sergeant Braun works behind the scenes planning and organizing air transportation activities for the Thunderbirds, cargo and crew. His younger brother, Airman Braun, is part of a team that does very similar work here, but with C-17s.

The brothers enlisted into the Air Force 13 years apart and Airman Braun's journey in the military has mirrored his older brother's path.

"The day my younger brother joined in 2008 was a week before the day I joined in July 1995," Sergeant Braun said. "We both went through the same basic training squadron. We both have the same career field and we both went to Charleston for our first duty assignment. We even worked in the same section within the 437 APS."

Sergeant Braun is 33 and his younger brother is 21. Though they are 12 years apart in age, Sergeant Braun and his younger brother have much in common and are close friends.

"We talk all the time, but hardly see each other because I'm always traveling with the Thunderbirds," Sergeant Braun said. "My brother was recently deployed and it's been tough for us to find time to spend together."

Though his schedule was full preparing for the Air Expo, Sergeant Braun made time to support his younger brother during one of his recent hockey games, and Airman Braun stood next to his brother during the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds' performance.

Airman Braun said the reason he joined the Air Force was because he wanted to be like his older brother.

"When I saw my brother leave for basic training, that's when I knew I wanted to join," Airman Braun said. "When I got older and I saw him in his uniform and I heard of the exciting places he has been, I wanted to do the same."

Sergeant Braun followed the footsteps of his uncle and joined the military. Being part of the greatest air force in the world is an honor, Sergeant Braun said.

"Working with the Thunderbirds is a privilege," he said. "To represent the Air Force and people like my brother, it's a great experience."

Perhaps one day Airman Braun will join the Thunderbirds and continue to follow his brother's footsteps, but for now each brother couldn't be more proud for one another.

"I am definitely proud of my brother and his path in the Air Force," Sergeant Braun said. "He is getting ready to test for staff sergeant and I know he will do great."

"I am proud to be his younger brother, friend and wingman," Airman Braun said.