Two of a kind
By TSgt. Angela Stebbins, 157 Public Affairs
/ Published October 22, 2011
PEASE ANGB -- When they were young boys, these fraternal twins lived next door to a military base, played with matchbox cars, and dreamed of one day being a soldier.
Today, Sean and Christopher Wood are living out their childhood dreams. They are both airman first class here in the NH Air National Guard's 157th ARW, are working on military vehicles and serving full time as honor guard members.
They enlisted at 17 years old with their parent's permission, before even finishing their senior year in high school. That was Feb. 20, 2009 when they came in together, stood side by side, raised their hands together, swore in together, and ever since, their history with the Guard has been following suit.
Although they think they look different and they are "non-identical twins", it is very difficult to tell the two apart. The only notable difference being seen is Sean has a scar on his head and Christopher wears longer sideburns. Other than that, Sean is married so he wears his wedding band which is the easiest way to tell which brother you might be speaking with.
Being so similar, they have the same likes, dreams and hobbies and lucky for them, have had the opportunity here to go through it all together. They not only swore in together, but went through Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) at the same time, basic training together, tech school together, and have since both worked in the same career fields as vehicle ops maintainers and now are both serving full time here as Honor Guard professionals.
"It has been like a godsend being here," said Chris, "It is more than we ever expected," he continued, "When joining the Air Force, I knew that I could get the GI bill and eventually go to school, but I did not know I was going to get college credits from basic and tech school, and return home almost having an associate degree. I didn't think I would ever take a college class in my life, but now I am almost caught up with all my friends that went straight to college right out of high school. I guess you could say I am actually ahead of all of them as I have all this college credit without the debt that they do."
Sean agreed, "We spoke to a lot of different recruiters over the years because we did not know what branch we wanted at first and we were warned that recruiters will make all kinds of claims and promises, but when you enlist, you find out it is not quite cracked up to be what you were told, or not given what you were promised, so that was my expectation.
All that MSgt. Connery told us or promised us has been just as he said, but I have even got so much more than expected. Just the experience is amazing, then to add on all of the benefits like the college credits, getting the job we wanted and were promised, everything has been better than we could have imagined."
Right after returning from tech school, both obtained full time positions in the Guard, Chris as a vehicle mechanic in Concord and Sean here at Pease with the Honor Guard.
"The support from people here on base is incredible...it's amazing!" they both said in agreement. Sean said, "We needed jobs when we got home from tech school and people like Sergeant Dunlap from student flight and Chief Lebel helped us get the jobs we wanted and needed by helping answer our questions and get our foot in the door as well as help get us interviews."
Now, almost three years since enlisting, at age 20 the twins are both serving on a full time MPA tour for the honor guard.
Sean explained, "When people ask me what I do and I tell them I go to funerals almost every day, some think that is terrible, but to me it is nice...it is a real honorable thing to do. Even if it is just a small part of the process like a quick folding of a flag and passing on to a family member, it is giving back to past veterans and every once in a while a active duty member that has fallen. It is just nice, appreciated and a wonderful thing to be able to do."
Looking towards the future in the Air Force, they would both love to stay full time here at Pease as long as possible, they have desires to go back to school to work towards finishing their degrees and are even considering the potential of becoming officers some day.
"Who knows...maybe we can do that together too," said Chris.