KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- George Guss watched his brother, Tyler, follow in their father’s footsteps by becoming a pilot in the U.S. Air Force. After reaching a crossroads while attending the University of Georgia, he decided he also wanted to take to the skies. Together, the brothers progressed in their piloting careers, but the distance between them kept growing, until recently.
Although both brothers are pilots, Tyler serves in the Georgia National Guard at Robins Air Force Base as an E-8C JSTARS aircraft commander, and George is active duty stationed at Kadena Air Base, Japan, as an F-15C pilot. Tyler joined his brother in Okinawa due to a training exercise taking place at Kadena over the summer months.
“I was super psyched when I found out my brother was deploying to Kadena,” said George. “Due to the COVID restrictions, my wife and I hadn’t been able to share Okinawa with any of our family members, so having an avenue for my brother to come out here was very exciting.”
It had been close to a year and a half since the two had seen each other, but once reunited, they quickly began making the most of their time together in Okinawa.
“We’ve gotten to go snorkeling, fishing on a charter boat, eating out at local restaurants and have cookouts at George’s house,” shared Tyler. “We were also able to tour each other’s aircraft so that was pretty cool.”
Coming from an Air Force family, to now serving in the military themselves, both brothers agreed that the Air Force has impacted their view on what it means to be family.
“I view everyone in my squadron as an extended family,” said George. “Ironically though, the more I progress in my flying, the farther removed I am from my family in Georgia. But it’s sweetened the moments I’m able to actually see my family, because I don’t take the time spent with them for granted.”
As their time together in Okinawa came to an end, the Guss’ will be able to see each other again soon.
“We have a younger sister who is getting married in August, so George and his wife will be taking a trip back home to Georgia,” Tyler remarked.
When asked if they had any departing words, Tyler and George quickly praised their alma mater.
“Shout out to the University of Georgia for putting us through school,” George said proudly. “Go Dawgs!”