An Illinois father and 27-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force says he's upset his three sons have been deployed to the Middle East at the same time.
The man, who declined to release his name or the names of his sons for safety reasons, said two sons in the Army are stationed 45 miles apart in Iraq, while a third son is stationed with the Air Force in another hostile region.
"It’s hard to sleep," the man told KTVI-TV in an interview. "The boys all joined knowing what the risks are. We just never, ever thought that all three would be deployed at the same time."
The men are all part of a family with eight generations of service in the U.S. military. Last year, the man's nephew, Staff Sgt. Jimmy Ide, died while fighting in Afghanistan, according to the station.
"It’s hard because we’re coming up on the one year anniversary of the death of our nephew," he said. "I think we’ve shed enough blood."
The station reports that Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin's office has been in contact with the family and released a statement, saying, "We have contacted the Defense Department on the family's behalf and have been informed that there is no rule against three siblings being deployed in three separate units at the same time."
"We have offered to keep the lines of communication open with the family during this difficult time," the station said.
The man says he's proud of his sons' service, but insists they shouldn't be in battle at the same time.
"We’re not cowards. We’re not asking for any special favor -- just common sense," he said.
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