Duty, Honor, Family: Three Wisconsin Triplets serve in the Armed Forces

June 21, 2013
Story by 1st Lt. David Woychek
364th Public Affairs Operations Center
 
Only about one in eight thousand births results in triplets. The chances that all three triplets would join the Army on the same day must be astronomical. Thomas, David, and Kevin Brehmer beat those odds. The three brothers, who grew up in West Bend, Wisc., all joined the Army on the same day of 1993 shortly after the close of Operation Desert Storm. All three initially signed up for active duty with the Army and began a 20-year journey to this spring where Tom and David will deploy to Afghanistan as members of the same Army Reserve unit.
 
The Brehmer triplets, from right to left, Thomas, David and Kevin pose with Brig. Gen. Carlson at a deployment ceremony in Peawaukee, Wisc. Thomas and David are going to mobilization station and then on to Afghanistan.​
 
 
Tom and David went to basic training at Fort Jackson in the summer of 1993 and Kevin followed a month later. Tom and David both joined the engineers, Tom as a carpenter/mason and David as a plumber/pipefitter.
 
“Dave and I were both in the same company for the first duty assignment. That unit was A Company, 34th Engineer Battalion, Fort Riley, Kan. The unit deactivated in August of 1994. I went to Fort Wainwright, Alaska. for 3 years and David went to Okinawa, Japan for two years,” said Thomas Brehmer, 1st Sgt, 372nd Engineer Company.
 
 Kevin took a slightly different path, joining the signal corps. As often happens with the military, their paths then started to diverge. Kevin‘s career took him to many different locations, including Fort Bliss, Saudi Arabia, and Korea, and being in a different military job, he didn’t have a chance to serve with either of his brothers.
 
After their active duty tours, the brothers all came back to Wisconsin to settle into civilian life. David used his military training as a plumber to transition into a civilian plumbing career, along with his brother Kevin. Tom decided to go to the University of Wisconsin for a degree in occupational safety. All three chose to continue their service to their country first with the Wisconsin National Guard. Kevin stayed in the Wisconsin Guard and is now the unit administrator for the 357th Brigade Signal Company. David served in the Wisconsin Guard until 2001. Tom had two deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq in 2001 and 2003, and then got out of the Wisconsin Guard in 2004.
 
Fifteen months after leaving the guard, Tom joined the Army reserve and is now the First Sergeant of the 372nd Engineer Company out of Pewaukee, Wisc.
 
“I had a 15 month break in service before joining the Army Reserve. The Army reserve offered more advancement,” said Brehmer.
 
David also decided to join back up into the 372nd in 2012. The two brothers are at Fort Bliss, Texas undergoing mobilization training in preparation for a deployment to Afghanistan with other members of the unit. The unit’s primary mission will be deconstructing U.S. and Coalition facilities in preparation for troop withdrawals in the coming years.
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