CAMP COMMANDO, Kuwait -- Many refer to the Marine Corps as a "band of brothers," speaking of a special bond between those who serve.
Embodying the concept is two brothers with the I Marine Expeditionary Force, deployed together to Camp Commando, Kuwait in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Captain Samson P. Avenetti, the I MEF G4 strategic mobility officer, and Chief Warrant Officer 4 Quint D. Avenetti, the 1st Marine Division's targeting officer, both from Hayden, Ariz., have been stationed together before, but this is their first deployment together.
"It's a big difference, I think not just for us, but for our wives," said Capt. Avenetti. "Out of all the siblings, he and I are probably the closest, and our wives are like sisters."
Being together on deployment has advantages and disadvantages, according to the two brothers.
"This holiday season really helps with him being here," said Capt. Avenetti. "I was stuck out here last holidays, same timeframe. It's made it a lot better with him here."
"It's been tough on the wives and kids," added CWO-4 Avenetti. "But we've got some tough wives, and some tough kids, and they're just as much of the Marine team as we are."
Family and military service have often been linked for the two, starting with their father, a former Marine.
"He never pushed us in any direction, but I don't think there was ever a doubt Sam and I would join the Corps," said CWO-4 Avenetti. "Dad was a huge influence, and brought us up real strict. Whenever we were in trouble, we were out there digging a hole."
While their sister and older brother went into the Navy, the two brothers and their younger brother went into the Corps.
"We joined five years apart," said Capt. Avenetti. "Right after we graduated high school."
"All our friends went partying, and we joined the Corps," added CWO-4 Avenetti, who is 40. "And it's been a party ever since."
The brothers credit their mother as being a positive influence in their lives. In addition to having supported her family through an accumulated 80 years of military service, her determination to defy the predictions of doctors who said she would never walk after being hospitalized last year inspired both of them.
"We used to think that we got a lot of our drive and stamina from our dad," said Capt. Avenetti. "Last year, when mom went through this (her hospitalization), we realized that we got it from both of them."
A combination of sporting rivalry and inspiration has driven the brothers throughout their career in the Marines. CWO-4 Avenetti's promotion to warrant officer prompted his younger brother, who is 35, to follow him, eventually becoming a limited duty officer.
"I couldn't be more proud," said CWO-4 Avenetti. "Both of us have high school diplomas. For a couple of small-town boys to become officers in the Corps is quite an accomplishment."
One of the brothers, at least, has already laid the ground for his sons to follow in the family tradition, naming two of his sons Gunner and Cannon.
"When your wife lets you name your kids like that," said CWO-4 Avenetti, "you've got to hold on to that one."