Raised in an Army family, Brian Jackson 53, and his youthful brother Eric, 50, at all times knew that they’d an older brother who had been given up for adoption when their father served a tour of obligation in Germany, however they knew no different particulars. Their father did not have a lot info both, because it wasn’t till he went on one other tour to Germany that he realized a previous girlfriend had given delivery and given their son up for adoption.
Rising up as an solely baby, Robert Edmonson II, 54, at all times knew he had been adopted in Germany. As an grownup, he realized that his organic father’s identify was Edward Jackson and he was from Texas — however that is all he knew.
Col. Eric Jackson together with his father Edward Jackson on this undated photograph. (Courtesy Jackson household)
Fortunately, a current DNA take a look at taken by Edmonson’s eldest son helped convey the three brothers collectively.
This Saturday, now-Maj. Gen. Edmonson was reunited together with his youthful half-brothers, Brian and Army Col. Eric Jackson, at Fort Knox, Kentucky, the bottom the place Eric Jackson is presently serving.
“A number of emotions came to mind,” Edmonson instructed ABC Information. “I was raised as an only child, so I immediately had siblings.”
“I am still learning what that means,” he mentioned. “I’m learning more about the emotions associated with with having siblings.”
Maj. Gen. Robert Edmonson II and his adoptive father Robert E. Edmonson on this photograph supplied by the Edmonson household (Courtesy Edmonson household)
Edmonson, who mentioned he has no regrets about the way in which he was raised, misplaced his adoptive dad and mom in current years and reached out to members of the family to ask if he ought to contact his organic household. Everybody, he mentioned, was extraordinarily supportive.
(*3*) Edmonson mentioned. Nonetheless, he mentioned, “I knew that it was time for me to reach out,” to his brothers.
As soon as collectively, the brothers discovered there many superb coincidences and parallels of their related upbringings.
Their father, Edward Jackson, had served not solely in Germany and Vietnam however had accomplished 20 years service as a soldier. Edmonson’s adoptive father, Robert E. Edmonson, additionally had a 20-year Army profession with excursions in Germany and Vietnam.
Each had served as younger captains within the 82nd Airborne Division. They have been in the identical nationwide fraternity, and their wives have been nurses who belonged to the identical nationwide sorority. Plus, each of their oldest sons shared the identical birthday.
Eric Jackson mentioned he knew throughout his first cellphone dialog with Edmonson that Edmonson — who’s presently the commanding general of the US Army Communications-Electronics Command and Aberdeen Proving Floor in Maryland — outranked him.
Maj. Robert Edmonson II (L) meets with brothers Brian Jackson ( c) and Col. Eric Jackson (proper) this weekend for the primary time.(Courtesy Edmonson and Jackson households)
“During that entire conversation, every comment ended with ‘Yes, sir. Yes, sir. Yes, sir.'” he mentioned. “And at the end of the conversation, Robert said, ‘Before we all hang up,’ he said, ‘Please stop calling me sir.'”
Eric Jackson mentioned he did it “out of respect for the rank that he wears. And also, it’s out of respect because I’m still the baby brother. My position has not changed. Robert’s has, but mine has not.”
“When I first met Robert, the first thing I can see is his mannerisms, his smile, his eyes,” mentioned Brian Jackson. “They all reminded me of my dad.”
He joked that he had respectfully transferred “all big brother duties” to “a new big brother.”
Eric Jackson mentioned he was anxious and emotional previous to their first assembly as a result of, “The brother that we’ve always been looking for would finally be known to us and get a chance to bond as brothers, not just his brothers in arms, but as brothers that share the same DNA brothers, but that share the same Army story.”
He mentioned their assembly was emotional and “really hard to put into words.”
“But if I could sum it up in one word, that one word could be ‘love.’ And if I was to put a banner on it, it would be ‘brotherly love,'” he mentioned.
Edward Jackson handed away in 2007, by no means figuring out that sooner or later his three sons would reunite.
“He would be crying tears,” his widow, Barbara Jackson, instructed ABC Information. “Cry and cry and cry, and he would be so happy.”
Eric Jackson mentioned his father, who was often known as a fun-loving dancer, is probably going “dancing in heaven right now and excited that we’re connected and that we finally found each other.”