Army life a family affair for brothers from Mukilteo


Herald Writer

EVERETT — One good enlistment deserves another, or so it seems for two brothers from Mukilteo.

Nick Borden, 32, encouraged his younger brother, Jeff Borden, 30, to join the Army seven years ago. Jeff, now an Army recruiter, repaid his older brother by recently enlisting Nick in the Army Reserve.

And neither brother has any regrets.

"I’d have to listen to him at Christmas time," Jeff said with a laugh, if he thought his big brother might regret his prodding.

Nick knew exactly what he was getting into, said Jeff, now of Marysville. Nick spent seven years in active duty, serving as an administrative specialist in Louisiana, South Carolina and Germany from 1986 to 1993.

Because of his previous military experience, Nick said he didn’t need much encouragement.

"It’s something that’s in my person, that I love to do and enjoy," said Nick, now of Everett. "I hate to sound like a red, white and blue fanatic, but I love my country. I don’t agree with a lot of things, but I believe in standing up for the things we believe in."

Nick is a member of the 47th Military History Detachment in Bothell, one of several in the country whose members archive Army history.

Nick said the brothers come by their love of the military naturally. Their father was in the Air Force, their uncle and stepfather had been in the Army, and their grandfather had been in the Army Air Corps.

"The military is pretty strong in my blood," Nick said.

During his active duty, Nick’s assignments varied, from driving around officers to dispatching military documents.

"I volunteered to go to Saudi," Nick said, but superiors said his position in Germany was too important.

When Jeff was between jobs and wondering what to do, Nick said he encouraged him to think about the Army.

"I think it’s the best way for any young adult to grow up," Nick said. "You learn self-confidence, discipline, respect for yourself and what you’re doing."

Jeff said he’d taken his big brother’s advice partly because the Army offered to train him in a skill he was interested in: imagery analysis, such as analyzing infrared or radar images.

"It was awesome," Jeff said of his two-year stint in military intelligence, stationed in Hawaii. His unit supported units throughout the Pacific Theater, sometimes providing information to the Pentagon or the White House, Jeff said.

After active duty, Jeff enlisted in the Reserve, working as a helicopter crew chief, stationed at Fort Lewis near Tacoma. After serving in the Everett recruitment center for three years, he’ll return to the helicopter position, he said.

Both brothers said they came back to the Army because they missed it.

"I missed the camaraderie more than anything," Jeff said.

Nick echoed the sentiment.

"Ever since coming back in, they (the other soldiers) warmed to me," Nick said. "You can pick up on a military person."

Jeff said ever since he joined the Reserve, he’d been encouraging his older brother to follow suit, talking up some of the benefits, such as access to military exchange stores and entrance to a military-only resort in Florida similar to Disney World.

The biggest selling point to Nick, who works as a postal employee, was the retirement benefits.

"I know I’ll be working for another good 15 years. I might as well collect military retirement at the same time," Nick said.

Like active-duty soldiers, those in the Reserve can collect retirement after 20 years of service. Unlike active-duty retirees, however, Reservists need to wait until age 60 before collecting retirement; active-duty retirees can collect it immediately after retiring.

Reservists normally work one weekend a month in their unit, as well as taking part in two weeks of training a year.

Nick said he also gets satisfaction knowing military history he collects is useful to others.

And overall, he said he gets a sense of purpose from serving in the military.

"It can be hard on your family, mentally, physically, but I get a lot of satisfaction knowing that I can handle these kinds of stresses," Nick said.

"I get a sense of satisfaction knowing that if I get called upon (for combat) I could do what I need to do, and maybe others don’t want to do that."

Talk to us

More in Local News

Members of South County Fire practice onboarding and offboarding a hovering Huey helicopter during an interagency disaster response training exercise at Arlington Municipal Airport on Tuesday, June 6, 2023, in Arlington, Washington. The crews learned about and practiced safe entry and exit protocols with crew from Snohomish County Volunteer Search and Rescue before begin given a chance to do a live training. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Snohomish, King counties train together for region’s next disaster

Dozens of agencies worked with aviators Tuesday to coordinate a response to a simulated earthquake or tsunami.

Police stand along Linden Street next to orange cones marking pullet casings in a crime scene of a police involved shooting on Friday, May 19, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Lake Stevens man identified in Everett manhunt, deadly police shooting

Travis Hammons, 34, was killed by officers following a search for an armed wanted man in a north Everett neighborhood.

Funko mascots Freddy Funko roll past on a conveyor belt in the Pop! Factory of the company's new flagship store on Aug. 18, 2017.  (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Lawsuit: Funko misled investors about Arizona move

A shareholder claims Funko’s decision to relocate its distribution center from Everett to Arizona was “disastrous.”

1 stabbed at apartment in Lynnwood

The man, 26, was taken to an Everett hospital with “serious injuries.”

A firefighting helicopter carries a bucket of water from a nearby river to the Bolt Creek Fire on Saturday, Sep. 10, 2022, on U.S. Highway 2 near Index, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Red flag fire warning issued west of Cascades

There are “critical fire weather” conditions due to humidity and wind in the Cascades, according to the National Weather Service.

A house fire damaged two homes around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 6, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Photo provided by Marysville Fire District)
Fire burns 2 homes in Marysville, killing 2 dogs

Firefighters responded to a report of a fire north of Lakewood Crossing early Tuesday, finding two houses engulfed in flames.

A transit rider steps onto a Community Transit bus on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Police: Passenger randomly stabs man in neck on bus in Everett

The two passengers reportedly did not know each other before the attack. Police arrested a suspect hours later.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Mountlake Terrace in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Mountlake Terrace eyes one-time projects for $2.4M in federal funds

Staff recommended $750,000 for a new roof and HVAC at the library, $250,000 toward a nonprofit facility in Lynnwood and more.

The Snohomish River turns along the edge of the Bob Heirman Wildlife Preserve at Thomas’ Eddy on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
To build a healthier Snohomish River, more log jams

About $2.8M in grants will help engineer log jams, tear down levees and promote salmon restoration at Bob Heirman Wildlife Preserve.

Most Read