U.S. Army twin sisters reunite for promotion in Afghanistan
Written by Bagram Media Center
Sunday, 10 February 2008
VBAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - For Calista and Cassandra Walker, being together is something that has been the cornerstone of their lives…since birth!
The 24-year-old twin sisters, assigned to different detachments of the 525th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade in Afghanistan, have achieved every major milestone together. The sisters completed high school, received college degrees in Criminal Justice, enlisted in the U.S. Army, attended Basic and Advanced Individual Training, and embarked on their first duty assignment, including a three-month deployment to Iraq, together.
Even though the sisters are assigned to the same brigade, they support the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force in separate locations of Afghanistan. Now, the sisters find themselves together again, if only for a few moments, achieving another major milestone, promotion to sergeant.
Army Sgt. Calista Walker flew to Kandahar, Afghanistan, to promote Army Spc. Cassandra Walker Feb. 1.
“I wish we had been promoted together but it was nice to be with my sister once again,” said Calista, who was promoted a few days earlier. The twins from Towanda, Pa., who say they have done everything together, stressed the importance of family in everything they do.
“Our parents are the reason we are the way we are. We call ourselves the family of five,” said both sisters, whose family also includes a brother. “He truly completes our group by supporting all that we do and being proud of who we are.”
The sisters both expressed that strong family relationships have always been part of their upbringing.
“My mother’s relationship with her sister is so amazingly strong. My sister and I want to forever remain that close,” said Cassandra. “The death of our mother’s father at a young age made a stronger bond between her and her sister that has spanned across generations to the two of us. The bond that my mom and her sister share is very close to the bond I have with my sister.”
Even though the two sisters share many attributes, there are a few differences.
“Cassandra is very spirited against anyone that harasses her younger sister,” said Army Sgt. April Abbott, 525th BSB. “Both are always professional and push each other to improve themselves.”
Cassandra commented that while the sisters push each other to excel, they are also very competitive. While Cassandra admits that Calista is the better athlete, she proudly points out that she beat her sister’s college grade point average by .02.
While the friendly competition keeps the sisters focused on improvement, it is also one aspect of their relationship that has bound them together for the past 24 years. Even though they support Operation Enduring Freedom from different locations in Afghanistan, they manage to contact one another at least once a day either through a phone call or by e-mail. It is just one way they work to keep their family bond strong.
“We will always be together. That’s the way it should be,” said Calista.