When the United States launched its offensive in Iraq, little did Dale Glowacki realize how much it was going to affect him.
The 45 year old, who has been a member of the National Guard for the past 20 years, knew there was a chance that he might receive a call to head to Iraq.
But while most families are worried about sending one member overseas, that wasn’t the case with this Brookfield family.
Before Dale received the call in February 2004, his son, David, 23, was called twice to head to Iraq.
“David first went over in July 2003 for a year, and then was called back in January,” said Dale, who recently returned home from his one-year of active duty. “It was really tough.”
When most people throughout this area were putting together their plans for Super Bowl Sunday, Dale and David were hugging one another for the first time in over a year at a base in Kuwait on Jan. 31. Dale is a Blackhawk helicopter pilot with the 106th Aviation based out of Midway Airport in Chicago, while David is an intelligence analyst with the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Division.
“I was really uneasy when he was called over for his first duty,” Dale said.
“Now at least I know where he is at, what his base looks like and things like that. I’m not guessing or trying to think where he’s eating lunch at or sleeping at night.”
Dale said the two were only able to see one another for “three to four hours that day,” but that it’s a moment he’ll never forget.
“I had mentioned to some people when we were in Kuwait that I had hoped to get over to the base where David was at,” Dale said. “That’s when they told me a couple trucks were heading over there and that I should jump on.
“David and I had been corresponding via e-mail since July 2003, so it was a great feeling to finally see him there. We went and had Subway [sandwiches], and he walked me around his base and showed me what type of equipment they have there.
“I’m so proud of him. It’s been tough, but I can’t wait for him to come home safe.”
If things go as planned, David is expected to return to Brookfield sometime next year.
“I was really hoping that David would go to college,” Dale said. “But it was his decision. My grandfather, father and uncles were in the army, so maybe he felt it was family tradition.”
Since returning last month, Dale is trying to get back to his normal life. He is an intelligence agent for the Internal Revenue Service.
“It’s been a little tough trying to get readjusted since coming back,” Dale said. “Being away from my job and home for that length of time would be rough on anyone. But my house is in good shape and everyone is doing good, so I things are all right.”
There is a chance Dale could be called back into active duty, and he’s not sure what he’ll do if that happens.
“There is talk that the National Guard could be called back into action every five years,” Dale said. “If that’s the case, I don’t know what I’m going to do. It’s tough leaving your job and family for a year every five years. But we’ll see what happens. Right now, I’m just waiting for David to come home.”