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December 15, 2002

Reservists get the call: They'll ship out soon

From: Chicago Daily Herald, IL - 15 Dec 2002

By Eileen O. Daday Daily Herald Correspondent

Army brass say that anyone who joins the military police in the Army reserves knows they will be called into active duty at some time or another. Most hope that call does not come over the holidays.

It did, however, for the 124 reservists who reported Saturday to the Army Reserve Unit in Arlington Heights.

Members of the 822nd Military Police Unit began mobilizing after receiving a presidential call-up to serve in support of Operation Enduring Freedom Noble Eagle.

They will spend the weekend in Arlington Heights before heading home to spend the holidays. They leave Jan. 3 for Fort Dix, N.J., to begin their deployment.

Reservists do not know where they are headed from there, but they are preparing for combat duty overseas, possibly in Kuwait or Afghanistan. They have been told their duty may last up to one year.

"They could be reporting anywhere where there is military action," said Maj. Willie Harris, public affairs officer.

For Brian Lamphere, 29, a Rosemont public safety officer, this is his first time being called up. He will leave behind a wife and two children.

"It's hard leaving my family, especially at the holidays," Lamphere said. "But I'm excited. This is definitely different from my police work on the civilian side, but I know it will help me with my career in police work."

Other reservists included suburban and Chicago police officers who serve as military police in the reserves, as well as other civilians from all walks of life.

Joel Panattoni is a police detective with the Frankfurt Police Department. For this stint, he will serve as a platoon sergeant.

"It's a lot of soldiers to take care of," Panattoni said. "I want to make sure that I do my job, and that they all come back home."

On Saturday, reservists dressed in Army fatigues filed through stations taking care of personal details, which included everything from medical and dental checks, to writing out wills and issuing powers of attorneys for family members. They also received backpacks filled with combat gear.

The reality of it was somewhat frightening for Helen Karlecke, 19, of Darien, Wis. She left her job as a child counselor with the Deaf School in Delavan, Wis., to report for her first call-up.

"It's exciting, you get to see different parts of the world," Karlecke said. "But I'm nervous because of the situation we're going to be in. You don't know what to expect."

Matthew Muchow of Bloomingdale was sent to Egypt shortly after Sept. 11, and has served short stints stateside, but he has never reported for combat duty.

"It's exciting and a good opportunity," said Muchow, who works in sales as a civilian. "I hope to get into law enforcement down the road and it's a good way to learn more skills. You never really sign up for the reserves without knowing you will one day be asked to do your job."

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