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Brothers in arms

Special to the Castle by U.S. Army Sergeant Scott Davis Regional Command-East Public Affairs. More stories from RC-East available here.

 U.S. Army Cpl. Josh Busch, 3rd platoon, Company D, 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team (left) poses with his brother, U.S. Army Sgt. Jason Busch, Company A, 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team. Both Soldiers are from Seymour, Wis. (Courtesy Photo)
 

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – Two brothers in the 101st Airborne Division were decorated for two separate combat actions during their deployment to Afghanistan.

One received a Silver Star Medal in December for actions during a five-day fire fight in Kunar Province. The other received a Purple Heart in January after a fire fight at Forward Operating Base Andar.

U.S. Army Cpl. Joshua Busch, 3rd platoon, Company D, 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, was on a mission in November when his platoon was attacked by insurgents.

“We got hit pretty hard,” said Josh, the younger brother. “By the end of the first night, I was the highest-ranking soldier in the platoon as a corporal, so I took charge as the platoon sergeant.”

By the end of the fight, his platoon of 22 was down to nine uninjured Soldiers. He was decorated Dec. 7 for his heroic actions during that battle.

U.S. Army Sgt. Jason Busch, Company A, 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, was awarded for his actions about a month later.

“The enemy was hiding in a basement in a qalat. Two Afghan National Policemen were going to go in, and I was to follow,” Jason said. “They kicked down the door and as soon as they started to enter they both got shot and fell down. I looked in and saw the enemy about 10 feet away. We both started firing at each other at the same time. I got hit as I was getting down into a prone position.”

Jason kept firing even after he was shot.

“Right away I started coughing up blood and could barely breathe. I shouted for a medic but they couldn’t help me since the insurgent was in the room in front of me. When I realized they couldn’t get to me, I somehow stood up, stumbled over to the medic and collapsed. Doc slowing my breathing saved my life. I was medically evacuated about 10 to 15 minutes later.”

The Soldiers, who are from Seymour, Wis., are proud of each other and what they had to go through.

“When my brother got decorated I felt a lot of pride for him, but I also felt a lot of sadness for what he had to go through to get that medal,” said Jason. “I wish that I could have been there instead.”

Though both were supposed to get out of the Army, they each decided to stay with their platoon for this deployment. Josh extended and Jason reenlisted for two more years.

“I actually reenlisted for four more years less than a week before I got shot,” Jason said. “I'm going to stay in and possibly pursue a career as a flight warrant officer.”

Josh said he and his brother have always been close.

“My brother joined when I was in high school,” he said. “I think he joined because he knew I was going to and didn’t want me to go through it alone.”

When Josh got to basic training, the drill sergeants asked if anyone had siblings in the Army. Josh said yes and was given the chance to be station at Fort Campbell, Ky., with his brother, though they are in different brigades.

Josh will soon finish his deployment while Jason is currently recovering in the United States.

“It’s got to be tough on our parents having two kids deployed at the same time,” Josh said. “Our mom is a worrier and she tries to find out anything she can about what we are doing out here. We try not to tell them too much about what goes on out here to keep them from worrying more.”


U.S. Army Sgt. Jason Busch, Company A, 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, (left) poses with his brother, U.S. Army Cpl. Josh Busch, 3rd platoon, Company D, 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team. Both Soldiers are from Seymour, Wis. (Courtesy Photo)
Well done, gents!  But I think you're busted with Mom now...

8 Comments

It is my experience that being a Warrior is a much easier job than that of Warrior Parent.
 

I am honored by this tribute to my sons, Jason and Josh.  When  your kids join the Army, so do the parents unfortunately.  Worrying is just part of the territory.  I am very proud of my boys ... all of them that are over there fighting for our Country.  Jason, Josh, and all their men have become my sons now, and we worry about all of them.  Parents become warriors of a different type...Prayer Warriors, and believe me, my knees are getting wore out.  Medals, at the end of the day, mean only that something bad has happened.  Honor, bravery, heroism...they all carry those medals with them inside, in their hearts.
By the way, Josh you are so BUSTED.

Julie Busch (Mama Busch)

 
@Julie....thank you so very much! I agree 150%...as a parent, we ARE the Prayer Warriors..and worriers...and you are absolutely correct about the medals they carry inside! Thank you and your brave boys! And Josh..yup...it's in black and white..you are totally BUSTED! :)
 
Jule and Connie - I was an Army Brat and got to take the Western Union telegram (Dad was only wounded, not dead) during Vietnam.  Mom was simply unable to move.

So, I''m sympathetic to Jason and Josh - during my 24 years being a soldier, my notifications were set to MIA/KIA only.  If I was wounded, Mom was going to hear about it from me.

And yeah, once I had done a few Really Dumb Things (from Mom's perspective) Dad shared with me many of his Really Dumb Things (like the fact that he had 7 Purple Hearts and Mom only knew about 2 of them - no, she never bothered to learn to read a ribbon bar) and Mom got right upset with us when she heard us swapping stories.  But... I'm okay with that - because she heard about 'em when we were both retired soldiers, and she didn't have to worry any more than she was going to anyway.

Happy to showcase your warrior sons, Julie!
 
 I appreciate the well wishes! I don't think it's harder for the parents of the warrior, I just think it's hard in a different way. 
 
Jason - the guy you aimed that comment at (which I don't disagree with, really) is a Vietnam era combat vet with kids in the current fight.

He's seen both sides of this coin - I'd say if nothing else, it's true for him.

My coin is different - I've only seen it from the kid-whose-dad-is-deployed perspective, and my own as a soldier.  Since I was armored in the belief that my Dad was invincible, I didn't worry the way my mother and sister did.

And of course, when *you're* the soldier, you're generally too busy to worry.
 
A big "THANK YOU!" to the kids, and their mom!
 
Gentlemen and Mom,  Thank you, for sharing your narrative. You have shown us how complex things are, for today's Military and their families. Remember each other, before you do it. It doesn't just stop when you leave the Military.