Leaving home, leaving work
Debbie McCoy has a picture of her camouflage-clad husband on her desk at work.
Sean McCoy, 37, stands beside a mortar in the desert of Indian Springs. His combat helmet shields his eyes from the sun. Debbie said the photo was taken while he was doing combat exercises.
She has worked at Mr. Gasket Performance Group in Carson City for 15 years. Her husband joined the manufacturer in April.
“He’s my American soldier,” Debbie said Thursday.
McCoy, a specialist with the Army National Guard, is on active duty, temporarily working at the Carson City National Guard office before he rejoins his unit at Fort Irwin, near Barstow, Calif. Debbie said her husband will be deployed in March. But that’s not definite, and she has no clue where he’ll go.
Ann Cox, human resource specialist at Mr. Gasket, said the company hired McCoy as a punch press operator five months before he was called to duty.
“What we do is bring someone in to fill the position he has until he gets back,” she said. “As soon as he gets back, he goes right back into his normal position.”
More than 100 business in Northern Nevada have recently been affected by deployment, according to the Carson City National Guard office.
Erick Studenicka, a public information officer with the National Guard, said several units from Northern Nevada were called to duty. That includes two units, part of a Calvary squadron out of Fallon and Yerington; members of a transportation unit out of Winnemucca, Elko and Reno are in Iraq; an aviation unit out of Stead will deploy in January to support Operation Enduring Freedom.
When service men and women leave for training and then deployment, an absence is left in the family and at their place of employment.
The government has enacted laws to ensure that servicemen like McCoy can slip back into the job they had before they left for duty. Mike Sullivan, Northern Nevada chairman of the Nevada Committee for the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Program, said his committee helps employers understand the rules and regulations regarding employees called to active duty.
Sullivan, a retired Marine Corps colonel, said he doesn’t know of any Nevada employers who’ve denied the job to a returning service member.
“Our employers go out of their way to support their employees,” he said.
McCoy said he is confident that he’ll have his job when he returns. He joined back up with the National Guard after the war in Afghanistan began.
“I want to go,” McCoy said. “I know what my job is going to be. I know why I’m going to be there. Most of the guys in my platoon feel the same way. If we do go to Iraq I’ll do street patrols and operate out of a fire base.”
He wants to make a difference in the world.
Douglas and Gary Minter, the father-son team who own Tip Top Amusement, recently had an electronic technicians called to duty.
Oscar Sessions, an Army National Guard specialist, is in Fort Irwin with his unit, which could be sent to Iraq. Gary Minter said he’ll have his job back when he returns. Tip Top has been in business in Carson City for 30 years.
Douglas Minter, who served with the Naval Air Force during World War II, said it may be an inconvenience to replace a worker temporarily, but it’s worth it.
“With out men like him volunteering we wouldn’t have freedom, which is why it’s not such a bad inconvenience,” he said.
Scott Magruder, Nevada Department of Transportation spokesman, said recently up to seven NDOT employees were deployed overseas. Every time someone leaves, an 18-inch banner emblazoned with red and white with a blue star is put outside the building.
One flag is out now, for Aaron Dawson, who is serving in the Middle East.
Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1212.
Some Carson City businesses and agencies recently awarded as patriotic employers:
Employee: Sean McCoy of Stagecoach
Tip Top Amusement
Oscar Sessions of Fernley
Aaron Dawson of Reno
John Deal of Washoe Valley
Colby Ford of Dayton
Don Welch of Fallon
Eric Wood of Carson City