Salmon says he could face deployment with Navy Reserves

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(Host) Vermont State Auditor Tom Salmon says there’s a possibility he could be called to active duty in the Navy in the next few months.

VPR’s Ross Sneyd has the story.

(Host) Salmon has been a member of the U.S. Navy Reserves for about seven years.

He’s a builder second class with the Seabees, the division of the Navy that’s in charge of construction.

Salmon says there’s been discussion in his unit that a call to active duty could be coming after a field exercise in February.

(Salmon) Sneyd: "Do you have any sense how likely it is that you might get sent?”

Salmon: "Oh, I think it’s probably 60% there’s a chance.”

(Sneyd) If he’s deployed, Salmon believes he’ll be sent to the Middle East, perhaps Iraq.

And if the call comes, he says he’ll serve.

(Salmon) "From a military standpoint, the military – very uncomplicated: They call, you go, you do what they say, you come back.”

(Sneyd) From the perspective of a statewide elected officer, it’s not so simple.

There are still audits to be done, employees to supervise – and an election campaign to run.

Salmon says he intends to seek a second term – if he can. He believes he’ll know whether he’ll be deployed well before he’d have to file his election paperwork in July.

(Salmon) We’ve got a lot of work to do, productively on the state level, municipal, school level around better fiscal practices, which leads to better fiscal management.

(Sneyd) Salmon is not alone among statewide officials in facing the possibility of being called to service by the military.

Lieutenant Governor Brian Dubie is in the Air Force Reserves.

He says his buddies in the service remind him that he may be lieutenant governor, but that doesn’t make him special in the eyes of the military.

(Dubie) "I’ll tell you what: I’ve heard from members of the National Guard when there was a little discussion about my deployment last September. They strongly said, `You’re no different from the rest of us. We all have these obligations and there is no hierarchy within the National Guard.”’

(Sneyd) Dubie is an emergency preparedness liaison officer and was called to the Gulf Coast in 2005 to respond to Hurricane Katrina.

Last year, he spent a few weeks on active duty in Iraq – just before the election.

If Salmon’s unit is activated, it’ll be more than a few weeks. He says he’d spend two months training in the U.S. – and six months overseas.

For VPR News, I’m Ross Sneyd.


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