Longview Reserve Departs For Iraq - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

01/23/03 - Tyler

Longview Reserve Departs For Iraq

The U.S. and its allies are moving more of their forces into position for a possible war with Iraq. Thousands of troops have been deployed -- many from East Texas. William Dowdy, an intelligence specialist in the Navy Reserves, is one of them.

His wife and four kids await his return in Longview. The family has grown accustom to Dowdy's military career. When he returned from Desert Storm 12 years ago, the kids were still small enough to fit into his arms.

"I remember waiting on him and being so happy when he came back," says Michelle Dowdy (15).

But this time around, technology is making their separation easier.

"He emails me, and I email him, and we pretty much communicate like that," says Beau Dowdy (19). "You know when he has time, he'll give us a call and we'll pass around the phone.

Dowdy's wife Marie takes it all in stride. She has a room dedicated to her husband--it's a place for medallions of courage and family pictures.

"For us, we know he's capable of doing this job," she says. "And its very gratifying for us to know they can call on him and people like him when there's a threat of war."

The family learned of Dowdy's deployment a month after he returned from a year in active service.

"I said, 'Well, where are you going?" remembers Marie. "He said, 'Well, we're going to Bahrain...we'll be in the Persian Gulf."

After over 20 years of marriage, Marie is not surprised when her husband gets his orders and departs quickly. In fact, the family is proud of his accomplishments. He's the only person since WWII to receive a commendation medal for setting up interagency communications

"When you can read it in black and white, you can see he really is making a difference. You just cant' beat the feeling. You're proud."

Dowdy's oldest son Michael just got accepted into the Navy and is training to become a Seal. 19-year old Beau also plans to enlist.

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