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Brothers reunite in desert

It's a small desert after all. In the sea of humanity that's the U.S.

It's a small desert after all.

In the sea of humanity that's the U.S. military in Kuwait, brothers Scott and Jason Buckhouse found each other after 18 months apart - holding an unlikely reunion in the middle of a sandstorm.

The North Dakota men - Scott, a sergeant and heavy equipment operator with the Fargo-based 142nd Engineer Combat Battalion, and Jason, a staff sergeant and explosives disposal expert stationed at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland - were so happy that time zones were forgotten.

"He was so excited, he actually called me," Betsy Buckhouse said, recalling her husband Scott's joy. "It was a 4 o'clock in the morning call."

Jason also was psyched up about the April 16 meeting, his wife, Naomi Buckhouse, said Friday.


"He thought it was pretty weird. He never thought he'd see his brother in a combat zone," she said. "It lifted up his spirits. He was just sitting there not doing anything."

Betsy sparked the meeting after Scott told her the 142nd was at Camp New York. She then e-mailed Jason.

Jason, with an intelligence unit two miles away in Camp Udari, pinpointed the 142nd, then got permission to take a Humvee and a satellite phone and make a surprise raid on his brother.

It took an hour through the storm for Jason to find Scott's tent. But once he arrived, they caught up on old times, then cranked up the satellite phone, calling their parents, Larry and Tollie Buckhouse of Hankinson, N.D., and wives.

They also spent time with their cousin, Staff Sgt. Dennis Manning, who is in the 142nd as well.

Jason then e-mailed photos home of the reunion.

"We printed some out on the computer and blew them up, and we have them framed already," Betsy Buckhouse said.

The families, meanwhile, are coping with the absence of Scott and Jason.


Scott, 33, is a police officer with the Lisbon Police Department, where they lived before the war. Betsy has since moved the family to Forman, N.D., where she works as a second-grade teacher at Sargent Central School.

They have a daughter, Alyssa, 11, and a son, Colton, 9.

Naomi is a stay-at-home mom with three children, the youngest being 2½-month-old Naomi. Jason, 27, was allowed to spend two weeks with her before leaving for Kuwait. They also have a daughter, Mollie, 3, and a son, Noah, 7.

The brothers are used to separations. Scott was with the 82nd Airborne Division in the 1991 Gulf War; Jason was in Kosovo.

They did meet again April 19, but have separated again as Jason's unit has moved into Iraq.

Now they're planning their next meeting for when their time in the Gulf is done.

"They are planning on getting their leave days coordinated so they can have a reunion with the whole family in Hankinson when they come home," Naomi Buckhouse said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583

Helmut Schmidt is a reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead's business news team. Readers can reach him by email at hschmidt@forumcomm.com, or by calling (701) 241-5583.
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