The city of Corry Police Chief and City Administrator Gerry Dahl were, no doubt, scratching their heads when two of their police officers got called to deploy to Iraq with the U.S. Army 1st Battalion, 112th Infantry, Pennsylvania National Guard 56th Stryker Brigade in September 2008.
Add to that the retirement of one officer to knock down the city’s full complement of officers from 12 to nine. Juggling schedules to make sure the city was protected 24 hours a day, seven days a week became a job in itself.
And one city firefighter also deployed with the 56th Stryker Brigade HHC headquarters, which resulted in the city hiring a full-time temporary firefighter to work in his absence.
The members of the 56th Stryker Brigade — Patrolman Markus Morrison, Patrolman Tony McIntyre and career firefighter Jerred Hodak — are back home now safe and sound.
Not only are Corry Police Chief Fred Corbett, City Administrator Gerry Dahl, Mayor Scott Sanford, and the remaining police and firefighters relieved to have the troops back home, there were sacrifices made on their part, too, while the troops were gone.
And an organization in Franklin believes the city of Corry officials deserve to be recognized for their support of employees who also serve in the military.
Robert P. Lewis, an ombudsman with the Department of Defense Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, came to Corry on Thursday to show appreciation to city officials for that support.
Lewis presented Corbett, on behalf of the city of Corry Police Department, with a framed certificate as a show of appreciation for the police department’s and the city’s understanding and support of employees who serve in the military.
The award was presented “for meritorious leadership and initiative in support of the men and women who serve in America for the National Guard and Reserve.”
Also on hand for the presentation were city of Corry Administrator Gerry Dahl and McIntyre, who is a specialist with the 56th Stryker Brigade. Morrison, who is a sergeant first class with the 56th Stryker Brigade HHC headquarters, and Hodak, who is also a specialist, were not available for the presentation.
Mayor Scott Sanford was also not available.
A third city of Corry police officer, Patrolman Jason Russell, also serves with the National Guard but did not deploy to Iraq.
McIntyre had submitted a recommendation for the city to receive the recognition.
“I’m very appreciative of Officer McIntyre for nominating us to the National Guard for this award,” Corbett said. “It will be displayed for all the police department members to look at.”
Dahl said the city appreciates the efforts of all the officers and firefighters for picking up the workload while their colleagues were on active duty.
“We appreciate them all,” Dahl said.
McIntyre has been a member of the city of Corry Police Department for 10 years and has served with the National Guard for two years. He returned from the Iraq deployment before the other troops for medical reasons, of which he has been cleared.
“I’m very appreciative of the support we receive from the police department in order to perform our duties in the Guard,” McIntyre said.