Sometimes brothers take completely different paths in life.
It seemed like that would be the case for Andrew and Kevin Armour as recently as one year ago.
Andrew, 25, was working as a U.S. Army Active Duty and Reserves Recruiter in Shelby, while his younger brother had not completed high school and was having trouble holding down a job in Ohio. At the age of 22, Kevin was at risk of becoming homeless.
“If I was going to continue to go down the road I was on before, it wouldn’t have led me anywhere,” Kevin said.
But Andrew decided he wanted to help his brother take a new path. He bought Kevin a bus ticket to Gastonia, where he lives, and began to serve as his mentor.
The brothers had one goal in mind. They wanted to get Kevin ready to enlist in the Army.
As a recruiter at the Cleveland Mall office, Andrew knew the steps his brother needed to take to be eligible to enlist.
“I kind of felt like it was my responsibility to step up and give him that direction he needed to get to this point,” Andrew said.
Kevin enrolled in classes at the Cleveland Community College Adult High School, and Andrew dropped him off at class every day. Andrew also kept his brother on a physical training routine for the past seven months that would get him in shape to pass the Army’s physical test.
Kevin graduated and earned his high school diploma Feb. 21. He went to the Military Entrance Processing Station in Charlotte to enlist in the Army this month.
Andrew said he has been proud to watch the mental and physical transformation Kevin has made since moving south. The older brother is excited to have his sibling join the ranks of the Army.
“It was the best thing for him,” Andrew said. “It will definitely give him a leg up so he can really start his life, even if he decides to get out or stays in for 20 years.”
Kevin will serve as an 88 N Transportation Management Coordinator for the Army. He reports to basic training at Fort Jackson in South Carolina April 3 before going to job training at Fort Lee in Virginia this summer.
Joining the Army will also earn Kevin the Montgomery GI Bill to pay for college. His current plan is to pursue game design when he completes his four-year job assignment for the Army.
Kevin describes the months-long schooling and training process as eye-opening. With his brother beside him, Kevin said it has been an amazing experience.
“I wouldn’t want anybody else to help me through this,” Kevin said.
© 2018 The Star (Shelby, N.C.)
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