Single mom ready for deployment
March 14, 2003
While tensions have elevated around the globe, Nevada Army National Guard Sgt. Rvon Dillon stands ready to go overseas if and when her unit is called upon.
The 1993 South Tahoe High School graduate and full-time technician for the Guard says while there is no set time to be deployed, her fellow guardsmen have been told there is a chance deployment could come without much notice.
“We could get the call if it looks like something goes wrong,” said Dillon, 28, who lives on the South Shore and commutes to Carson City daily.
Her unit would be activated if tensions escalate with a country other than Iraq. One place the 100 or so members of Dillon’s Company D, 113th Aviation Unit have been told they could go is South Korea.
In the event she is called, Dillon has made arrangements with a close friend to take care of her daughter, Cassidy, who turns 6 next month.
“I think it will be hard leaving my daughter, but at least she’ll know that I’m doing something good,” Dillon said. “She won’t think ‘momma’s left me.’ She’ll know there is a reason why I’m gone and that it is for a good reason.”
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It’s hard not to watch television reports about a potential war in Iraq, but Dillon says she doesn’t spend her time thinking and worrying about going into hostile parts of the world. Her once-a-month training in the National Guard has prepared her physically and emotionally for duty.
“My family is panicking enough for me already,” she said. “I figure if they need me, they will call me and I will go.”
As a fueling and maintenance specialist for Army Chinook helicopters, which in the military is called 77 Fox, Dillon has spent the past three years training once a month with her unit.
Her full-time job with the Army National Guard is a civilian job, where she does maintenance and mechanical duty.
Dillon joined the Guard in April 2000 after spending seven years on the South Shore doing what she described as “Tahoe jobs.”
“I cleaned rooms, worked in the casinos, I did all the seasonal work that a lot of Tahoe people do,” Dillon said.
Looking to find a permanent career, a friend who had signed up encouraged Dillon to join the service.
“I was really looking for a year-round, full-time job that I could be proud of and that meant something,” Dillon said. “I thought of the Air Force but wound up in the Army recruiters office instead.”
After basic training, which took her to Fort Jackson, S.C., and additional training at Fort Stewart, Ga., Dillon returned to Nevada where she works in the Combined Support Maintenance Shop.
Once a month she is stripped of her civilian duties and meets for a weekend of military maneuvers. This month the unit performed refueling exercises at Fallon Naval Air Station.
The military have ramped up exercises for people of all ranks and branches of the service since the terrorist attacks. Dillon said she is trained to always be prepared for the unexpected.
“On Sept. 11, that day, I knew the chance (of being called up) was even more so,” she said. “That’s why we don’t spend a lot of time wondering if the day will come. We are always prepared to get the call.”
Jeff Munson may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org