Twin daughters serve in the US Army
Sunman family has double blessing

Wanda English Burnett

Mirror images of each other, the McIntire twins - Julie and Jenna, 23 - are serving in the US Army and are both First Lieutenants, according to their parents, Roger and Barbara McIntire of Sunman.

The girls were always very close growing up and according to their mother, it didn’t take Jenna long to sign on for the ROTC program after her sister Julie did.

“She just needed a little nudge,” Barbara noted.

Both girls attended Milan Elementary School and then graduated from the Oldenburg Academy.
“It didn’t surprise us when they went into the military,” their father shared with The Versailles Republican. “They’ve always been service oriented.”

The twins were very involved in Habitat for Humanity projects under the direction of Pete and Deb Mack, who they truly admire.

With the country still at war, the McIntires are concerned about their daughters being in Iraq. Actually, Jenna is on a mission in Jordan, but will return to Iraq.

On his second day of retirement, after working 40 years in Cincinnati, on Tuesday of this week, Roger said he does have more time to think about his daughters.

As world news plays 24/7 in the McIntire home, they are well aware of the danger out there. They are also comforted by their faith and their daughters’ resolve that “everything is okay either way.”

It’s not something Barbara dwells on. “I couldn’t image one of my children going (dying) before me,” she said in a broken voice.

Quickly regaining her composure, Barbara said she leaves them in God’s hands and knows they are where they want to be. “They’ve always played Army since they were little girls,” she shared. “They’d play around this tree in the yard, pretending to shoot.”

Julie attended Wheaton College obtaining a four-year degree in political science. She also met her husband, John Leggett, there. Ironically, he is also a twin - and they too both serve in the Army. “They’re (Julie and John) both in Iraq now, but not together,” Barbara noted.

She told how at Christmas John had gone to where Julie was to visit her. A General found out they were married and arranged for them to have a little “get away.” “He called it the Hilton, but it really wasn’t,” laughed Barbara. She said the young couple was grateful for the small favor and enjoyed some time together.

Jenna graduated from Boston University with a degree in Archaeology. She has traveled to Spain and Puerto Rico on digs and is truly excited about the countries she’s been in since deploying to Iraq. She’s also a cross country runner for the Army and recently came in 7th in her category in a marathon in Washington, DC.

Both girls are athletic. According to Roger, in a Ranger Challenge - a eight mile road march that Julie led, one of her soldiers sprained his ankle. They were carrying heavy gear and so Julie took his gear, as well as her own and continued the march. “They’re tough,” he said of his daughters.

The McIntires are not strangers to military life. Roger was a seaman, serving as a sonar technician in the US Navy. “My father, was also a seaman,” Roger shared. The late Charles McIntire served in the Pacific Fleet in the US Navy during World War II.

While they know their daughters are doing what they want and getting many opportunities, the McIntires also know the dangers of war. “Yes, I’m a little more apprehensive,” Roger admitted. “Afghanistan worries me,” Barbara shared.

“But when we talk with them - they’re so happy,” Barbara noted. The soldiers should be home for a visit later this month and in her soft southern drawl, Barbara, said, “And we’re gonna have a big party!”
The McIntires also have an older daughter they are very proud of. Jessica, 27, graduated from Xavier with a degree in psychology and then went on to obtain her nursing degree. She is employed as a nurse in a hospital in Orlando, FL.

The McIntires are looking forward to retirement, although Barbara is still employed part time at Halcomb Home Center in Versailles. They anticipate grandchildren, and know the odds of them coming in pairs is great.

“Oh, yes, we can’t wait,” smiled Barbara, who says she doesn’t care where her children are scattered, she’ll travel to visit them.

Right now Julie and husband, John, are stationed out of Hawaii. Jenna is with the 1st Infantry Division out of Ft. Riley, Kansas.

1st Lt. Jenna McIntire . . . . . . . . . 1st. Lt Julie Leggett