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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Twins Still Standing!

In remembrance of the chilling events that took place on that autumn day ten years ago, I wanted to create a post filled with hope.  The twin towers are symbols of American greatness, success and entrepreneurism.  I present you with twins that represent the same things to all of us.

Captains Aleksandr and Dmitry Baron, Army dentists, are augmenting the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment at two different bases in southern Iraq. The identical twins are military dental officers.  Aleksandr has served as a triage doctor, making priority of care decisions based on the severity of combat wounds. “I never thought I would do something like that. I thought, if you send me to a deployed environment, I’ll take care of soldiers, I’ll comfort them, listen to them, care for their teeth, but I did not think I would be doing triage
They provide what is called “expeditionary care,” responding to emergencies, filling cavities, even performing cleanings to ensure that soldiers remain healthy and mission ready in a combat theater, said the Army public affairs officer who offered an account of these “Army dentists’ paths to southern Iraq.”
That they are in Iraq together, both assigned to the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment albeit at different bases, is “mere coincidence,” said Maj. Jason Billington. Aleksandr volunteered from their Fort Stewart, Ga., home base and deployed to Contingency Operating Site Kalsu with the Regimental Support Squadron in October 2010. Dmitry, who volunteered later without knowing his assignment, joined the regiment’s 3rd Squadron at Contingency Operating Site Echo in April 2011. 
Their story of U.S. military service begins when their parents, Vitaly and Emma Baron of Aberdeen, N.J., moved from Russia to America. The boys were six years old. “He just wanted a better life for his children,” Aleksandr said of his father’s moving them from what is now the Ukraine to Brooklyn, N.Y.  Assimilation came with difficulties of street and language for boys together in a strange new world. 
Dmitry: “We did everything together. We got in trouble together. We’d be in a corner together. With a twin, that can be a lot of fun.”
Aleksandr: “Being in a country that is as far as the United States is from Russia, to have him next to me was the best thing God could give me. He was a best friend. Trying to get cultured to America is hard. With him by my side, we were partners all the way.”
Both attended Rutgers University for undergraduate degrees and received dental degrees from New York University College of Dentistry in 2009.

Olmsted Falls twins serve together, but apart, in the United States Navy.
Army Reserve Lt. Col. Dominic Rinaldi, center, of Olmsted Falls, was able to swear in his sons Alex, right, and Dominic when they were commissioned as officers in the Navy after graduating from Ohio State University.
Olmsted Falls brothers Alex and Dominic Rinaldi, 24, spent most of their lives as close as twins could be -- same schools, sports, college degrees and now, same branch of the service. Alex is currently assigned to the USS Montpelier, a fast-attack submarine based in Norfolk, Va.  While Dominic serves aboard the USS La Jolla, another fast-attack sub, based in Pearl Harbor. Both are lieutenants (junior grade), both qualified in the engineering department.
After graduating from Olmsted Falls High School in 2004, the twins attended Ohio State University where they earned finance degrees and attended the Naval ROTC program.
Their military interest could have resulted from their father's 36 years in the Army Reserve where he is currently a lieutenant colonel.
As a military officer, the senior Rinaldi  (tour of duty in Iraq 2005-2006) was able to swear-in his two sons when they were commissioned in the Navy after graduating from OSU, and he recalled, "To be with them, when you see your sons and they've accomplished something, to be a part of that is just phenomenal."

The Moss Brothers
Reaching so ideally high, adhering so adamantly to the principles of selflessness and patriotism, Vincent LaVaughn Moss and Vance JoShaun Moss offer more than a decade of accomplished-laden experience in service to their community and nation. Most recently, Vince and Vance were challenged with organizing an amazing act of patriotism and courage.
They coordinated the efforts of the U.S. military, U.S. State Department and Northwest Medical Team for the arrival of an 8 year old boy and his father to New York City for completing the surgery they started while serving on a special mission to Afghanistan. This is just one of many examples that would exemplify the true meaning of being a true American. Vince and Vance’s entire life is a reflection achieving beyond the limits, building bonds between different ethnic and religious groups while inspiring others to do the same.
The Moss’s journey began a special one indeed when they were born twins on April 25, 1971.  It was with each other that they developed a sense of team work early on. It was quite evident when they earned Eagle Scout, the highest honor in Boy Scouts at the tender age of 14, and the Amelia Earhart Award in the Civil Air Patrol at Age 15. They went on to graduate from Oxon Hill High School Science and Technology Center in 1989 where they excelled in school to be nominated by Congressman Honorable Steny Hoyer to the United States Military Academy.  The young men opted to attend the Pennsylvania State University where they majored in Science and were accepted into 7 medical schools.
While at Temple University Medical School, they dedicated themselves to developing a science mentorship program which still exist at Temple today. The principles and ideals of this program have extended to other medical schools across the country.
Their involvement in the Army Reserve Medical Corps distinguished them among their peers.  They earned the Army Commendation Medal and Army Achievement medal while challenged by the rigors of medical school and earning a prestigious residency position in General Surgery at SUNY Brooklyn and Urology at New York Medical College. Vince completed his fellowship in Cardiothoracic Surgery at SUNY Brooklyn as well. Vance completed a fellowship in Renal Transplantation after finishing his urology residency.twins
While in residency they volunteered to serve in the Army Reserve Medical Corps, even when it was authorized to defer service until after completing residency. They  were promoted to the rank of Major at the earliest possible chance and were activated and served in Operation Enduring Freedom.       twins2It was during this phase of their lives that they had an unprecedented opportunity, never done before in the history of military medicine, to treat civilians outside of Kabul.  This special act of courage caught the attention of the world, earning them many medals of achievement, including the Global War on Terror Achievement Medal.   They have received some of the highest civilian awards given in the United States, including the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and the Trumpet Award.  The Moss’s completed a tour in Iraq in May 2008, serving with the First Marine Expeditionary Force in the Al Anbar Province where they treated many soldiers and marines. Vince and Vance are currently in private practice in New Jersey as well as attending's in Cardiothoracic Surgery and Transplant Surgery at Crozer Chester Medical Center. Vance actually spearheaded the development of the transplant program in a partnership with Temple University
Twins? yeah we
still got ‘em. 
Watch your back.

Thankful for our freedom, 
Scarlet,Eileen and Laura


  1. Hi Donna--Enjoyed this post on twins:) I so enjoyed your comments on my blog and wanted to let you know I appreciate you following me and I am now following you. I feel we will become fast blogging friends! I can't believe how alike we are--I am a Goodwill crazy woman, I am a scrapbooker (I have taught classes and been a contributor to magazines) --you are a special education assistant, and I am a caregiver to my disabled 11 year old son--and I am very thrifty because I need to be! But I am also very happy and very blessed even through being very broke:)Thank you so much for telling me about the gesso! I wish we could go out to lunch or something. Have a great day!

  2. These are amazing young men! Thank you so much - I thoroughly enjoyed this post! So uplifting! My son-in-law serves in Afghanistan - I am so proud of these young men and women! I appreciate your visit and following my blog! I am now your newest followers!
    God Bless,

  3. Wow, what a beautiful and uplifting post.

    Thank you Donna, for your kind words on the passing of my sister.


Thank you so much for your time and thoughtfulness in leaving a comment. We are thrilled to hear from you!
All the best, Eileen, Donna and Laurie