They are both covered in mud and sweat, egging each other on to keep pushing. Everything is a competition to see who is faster, stronger, better. They clamber onto the netting, neck and neck as they train themselves to be more than just brothers at home, but also brothers on the battlefield. They leap off the net and sprint down the last stretch dirt during the drag race. It seems like Landon comes out on top, but the scores paint a different story. “I took the extra two reps,” Luke says giddily.
Senior twin brothers Luke and Landon Luman made the decision to join the Army. Since the twins enlisted with the Buddy Program, which allows up to five friends to enlist and train together, they will be in the same unit and be deployed together. After spending their entire lives together, the twins will continue to share and bond over life experiences.
“[I] couldn’t have imagined it any other way,” Landon said. “It felt like this was supposed to happen. Everything between us is always competitive. Now we just have more to compete for.”
Close friend senior Dylan Gerun has been with the twins throughout their entire journey in joining the military. They informed him about their decision to join just prior to them entering basic training together and it came as no surprise to him at all.
“I knew if one of them was going, the other one was too,” Dylan said. “They’re so close, being twins, it’s either they both do it together or they don’t do it at all.”
With their cousins, grandfather and father being in the military, the twins were not hesitant to follow in their footsteps. With the guidance of their father, the twins were able to solidify their decision to go into the Army.
“It’s always been something I’ve wanted to do,” Landon said. “After all, it’s in my blood. I love the pride, it has given me a lifetime of opportunities for the future. My dad is my biggest inspiration, it amazes me how he’s on top of everything. He told me he learned it in the Army. I guess I just want to be a little more like him.”
The brothers’ determination has inspired Dylan in his desire to join the military. Upon the twins returning from basic training, he admired the effect it had on the two. It was then he decided that this career path was for him.
“They inspire me a lot,” Dylan said. “Them coming back from boot camp showed me how better it can get, you can actually find yourself and see who you want to be. It makes you mentally and physically stronger.”
Although the Army comes with a range of benefits, Luke’s overall goal is to improve his personality throughout his military career. He believes discipline is an essential part of life.
“I hope to be more disciplined,” Luke said. “I want to come out being a better person than I was before.”
As the twins have already gone through basic training, they reflect on the physical and mental challenges they faced during those weeks. The outdoors, the extensive physical exertion and being away from their loved ones had a toll on the brothers but they came out of it with heightened respect.
“You can be in the best shape of your life but it’s not going to be an easy time, no matter what,” Luke said. “It’s completely mental. You’re away from everyone, you don’t know what’s going on at home. You’re just in dirt all the time in the woods for a week, you haven’t showered and everything is disgusting and you just hate your life. They break you down and they build you up so whenever you get to the end you feel so accomplished, it’s the best feeling.”
This story was originally published on Farmers’ Harvest on January 21, 2020.