Rob Donovic learned that it’s the little things that make the house, the house.
After deploying more than seven months to the Middle East as part of his service with the US Army National Guard, the Livonia city councilor enjoys seeing green trees, eating a slice of pizza and reuniting with his family.
“It’s the smallest things – just jump in my truck, put on some country music and drive Five Mile or drive Plymouth Road and see some friendly faces,” Donovic said.
Throughout its deployment, which started at the end of September 2020, the city councilor listened to council meetings almost like his colleagues. The only difference was that a 7pm meeting in Livonia was a 2am event for Donovic. Throughout its deployment, it operated in Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Syria.
On a council meeting day, Donovic would get up around 6.30 am, work until 3 or 4 pm or so, eat, get some sleep, and get up at midnight to prepare for the meeting. He usually found privacy in a communal space that no one would use in the wee hours of the morning.
“I couldn’t attend council meetings in my tent because, of course, I have roommates and the last thing they want to hear is water tariffs or people’s garbage cans two o’clock in the morning. morning, ”Donovic said.
Council meetings usually lasted until 5 or 6 a.m., when he would stay up and spend another day.
Donovic said his military leaders, council colleagues and city officials were “incredibly” helpful. He added that having so much community support made it easier to be away from home for so long.
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“The outpouring and the level of support I received was just amazing,” he said. “A lot of people I had never met sent me care packages or the occasional postcard all the time. It was such an amazing experience.
“It was really motivating and, for me at least, it helped put things in perspective as to why I wanted to join the military and why I wanted to serve a country that has given my family so much in particular.”
Donovic’s unit, which included troops from Michigan and Ohio, supported Operation Inherent Resolve. It carried out strategic movements of soldiers and equipment as part of a military intervention against the militant group ISIL, also known as ISIS. Donovic served as a door gunner on a Chinook helicopter as part of this job, ensuring the safety of the aircraft crew.
Contact reporter Shelby Tankersley at email@example.com or 248-305-0448. Follow her on Twitter @shelby_tankk.