Marines and brothers; Siblings share in service

7 Jan 2010 | Cpl. Joshua Murray

Lance Cpl. Timothy Goff has held his older brother’s values and morals in the highest esteem since childhood. As long as his brother, Sgt. Jeffrey A. Goff can remember, Timothy has followed closely in his footsteps. Timothy’s young and impressionable mind led him to pursue his brother’s interests. When Jeffrey enlisted in the Marine Corps, Timothy anxiously awaited the opportunity to join the ranks. Timothy joined the Marine Corps as soon as legally possible, beginning the establishment of a unique bond with his brother that could only be achieved by pinning on the Eagle, Globe and Anchor.

The brothers, both reservists, serve as combat engineers with Combat Logistics Battalion 46 aboard Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, for now. When not training at their weekend drills or activated for duty, Jeffrey attends Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pa., and Timothy studies at Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell, Pa. 

“Growing up, he always used to drive me nuts because he would copy everything I did … like a little me,” said Jeffrey. “If I played football, he played football. If I wrestled, he wrestled, and with lacrosse, it was the same thing. It was really just natural progression that I joined the Marines and so did he.”

As a boy, Jeffrey recalls fishing trips that led him to desire to serve in the Marine Corps.

“I had two uncles who were Marines, explained Jeffrey. “My one uncle, John
Rambo, was in Vietnam, and we went fishing all the time. I learned about what he did in Vietnam and his two Purple Heart awards.”

Jeffrey and his younger brother shared some of the same achievements including a meritorious promotion during boot camp. Exchanging experiences and stories about their careers strengthened the bond they already shared as brothers.

“People outside the Marine Corps don’t fully understand what being a Marine is all about,” mentioned Timothy. “We’re experiencing the same things all the time, so I would say we completely understand each other, and I consider him one of my best friends.”

Although they find themselves dealing with similar duties, they do not work together due to fraternization policies, and never participate in the same operations for important reasons that the brothers understand.

“They won’t let us go out together, because if something happened they don’t want to tell my mom that both sons got hurt,” said Jeffrey.

Although Jeffrey feels the responsibilities of an older brother to protect his younger sibling from the perils of warfare, he has a good friend that ensures Timothy’s well being.

“Ever since he got activated, we’ve been in different platoons, but I don’t worry about him, because Sgt. Bryce Ziegler is one of my best friends, and he’s squad leader for my brother’s platoon,” said Jeffrey.

Jeffrey and Timothy are nearing the end of their first deployment together, growing as Marines and brothers. Their unique experience together will surely be a significant memory that only a select few have the privilege to appreciate.