Biological “Brothers in Arms”

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Brooklyn Golightly
  • 374th AW/PA

Staff Sgt. Ja Lee, combat arms instructor, and his oldest brother, Airman 1st Class Dae Lee, patrolman, proudly serve alongside each other in the 374th Security Forces Squadron, at Yokota Air Base. 

Ja, who joined alongside his twin brother, Woo Lee, has served the U.S. Air Force since 2013. They joined and chose the security forces career field to take advantage of the opportunities to see the world.

When reflecting on his own goals, Dae realized he also wanted to serve alongside his brothers and asked his recruiter to join the security forces career field to “complete the trifecta.” 

“I joined because I want to make my family proud of me and because my brothers encouraged me to do so,” said Dae.        

When receiving his first assignment, Dae was grateful to find he had been assigned to Yokota Air Base, Japan, where Ja was already stationed. Having a family member to lean on while so far from home was a happy surprise as the Lee family believes strongly in the value of unity and strength within the family. 

Dae uses his younger brother’s experience in security forces to ensure that his skills continue to develop and progress. Ja’s experience prepares Dae for future skill proficiency and promotions. While Ja seeks his older brother for advice and guidance in everyday life.

“When there’s circumstances that we need emotional support, or any financial situation, lifestyle issue, that puts a lot of tolls on each other,” says Dae. “We know that there’s always somebody here, especially my brothers.” 

They recall a time when their father shared examples of why it was important for them to rely on each other. He would grab a stick that represented one member of their family and show demonstrate them bending and braking under the pressure he applied. He would grab more sticks, one representing each member of their family and held them together before applying the same pressure as before. The sticks wouldn’t break when held together.

This moment guided their relationship to share an experience in the Air Force. While they may suffer from the occasional sibling rivalry, they know that their brothers while always have each other’s backs.