TANEYTOWN — Last week's welcome-home party for Michael Zepp, an infantryman with11 Bravo Company of the 82nd Airborne, was missing just one thing.
His brother, David, a private first class with the 691st Maintenance Company of the Army's 20th Engineer Brigade, wasn't home to enjoy the festivities with the family.
Both young men, along with their cousin, Steve, had been deployedto the Middle East during the Persian Gulf conflict.
Michael leftfor the gulf Aug. 19, and David went straight to the Middle East from the Army's basic training course in September.
Michael and Steven -- who is permanently stationed in Germany -- had returned to theirhome bases by this week. Michael, 20, came back April 1 to Fort Bragg, N.C., where he lives with his wife, Lisa.
But David, 18, is expected to remain in the region until late August.
The Francis ScottKey High School graduates both joined the Army soon after leaving high school.
Entering a war situation straight from basic training was probably difficult for David, Michael said. He said he knows that serving in the Persian Gulf from October 1989 to March 1990 helped him understand the Middle Eastern culture during this war.
Michael was helping to uphold the Camp David peace accord between Egypt and Israel at that time.
The strain was hard on the family for eight months also.
Having two brothers in the conflict was difficult, said Michael and David's sister, Danielle. But the boundless support for the troops helped ease her fears, said the 17-year-old Francis Scott Key student.