Brother's bond strengthened by service

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Janiqua P. Robinson
  • 23d Wing Public Affairs

Military members volunteer to serve and, odds are, they will be separated from their siblings for long periods of time. Unfortunately, this causes them to miss birthdays and the start and growth of families, among other things they talked about while growing up.

For two brothers stationed here at Moody, the odds were in their favor. Fate would have it that while they’d fulfill their duties as Airmen, they’d get to do it at the same place, working in specialties that support one another.

“We’ve always had a strong bond, but this made it stronger,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Adam Palmer, 23d Operations Support Squadron air traffic controller. “It’s very satisfying when you can serve your country and do it together.”

The brothers recognize that the odds of getting assigned to the same place as blood relatives are slim-to-none, but are extremely grateful that the Air Force stationed them together. Both joined because they felt they needed better opportunities.

“We were a couple of rough and rowdy boys headed in the wrong direction fast,” said Adam. “We both joined to better our lives.”

Their father passed while the brothers were on the brink of adulthood and both acknowledged they were on the wrong path. Adam made the decision to join the Air Force and after realizing how much it changed his life, convinced Philip to do the same.

“I joined because he talked me into it,” said Senior Airman Philip Palmer, 71st Rescue Squadron loadmaster. “He said it was going to be a good time and it has, I’ve had a blast. You don’t hear people say this often, but I feel lucky to be at Moody. How many brothers get stationed together?”

Adam, the older brother who’s been here since 2010, is an air traffic controller where his mission is to keep Moody’s skies safe by communicating with pilots and guiding air traffic.

“We talk to pilots throughout our airspace and knowing that my brother [an aircrew member] could be on that plane just makes [my job] that much better,” said Adam. “It’s very satisfying because you can potentially save a lot of lives or cause a lot of problems, but our goal is it save lives. Knowing you help bring them back safe is very rewarding.”

Philip, who’s been here since 2012, is a loadmaster and is responsible for properly loading, securing and escorting cargo and passengers on Lockheed Martin HC-130J Combat King II planes and also facilitating pre-flight, plane power up, and in-flight refueling.

“It’s a great feeling knowing my brother could be talking to the pilot of the plane I’m on,” said Philip. “There aren’t very many words to describe it.”

With an Air Force grandfather and father who fought in World War II and Vietnam respectively, the duo agrees they’ve had the opportunity of a lifetime.

 “You grow up and often times families grow apart,” said Philip. “Palmers are famous for it, because we just spread out. So to be stationed [at the same place] and then have our jobs coincide and work together is awesome. I am incredibly proud of my brother and to have served with him.”

Adam recognizes that one of the best parts about them being here together are the little things that are often taken for granted.

“[Living at the same base] is awesome because I can get off work, call my brother and he can bring his family over so we can barbeque,” said Adam. “In the near future, we won’t have that opportunity and it will really be bittersweet when it happens.”

While some Airmen join to see the world and hope each base has more to do than the last, these brothers truly believe that it’s not the base that makes the assignment good or bad, it’s the people.

“The best part of Valdosta is being stationed with my brother,” said Philip. “The mission is incredible, but what made it great, was my brother.”