Longview Reservist Recalled To Iraq - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/3/06-Longview

Longview Reservist Recalled To Iraq

An East Texas man who's been recalled to active duty in the Navy, to be deployed to Iraq, gets a big surprise from his employer.  He's counting the days now before he leaves.

Ronnie Blue, 39, has a wife and four children, and he's been recalled by the Navy to be deployed to Iraq.  It's something that weights heavy on his mind.

"It wasn't expected.  We knew the war on terror was going on.  I didn't want to leave my family behind.  I didn't have a problem serving or I wouldn't have joined," said Blue.

Blue has been employed by Peters Chevrolet for that last 18 months.  He found out in July that he was going to be recalled, and never expected what his co-workers were going to do next.

"We wanted to do something to help them, so we talked about it and decided the least we could do is to try to come up with some money to help them through this," said Peter's sales executive Joe Elliott.

For the past four months, 20 of Blue's fellow employees had set aside money from their own checks, and gave it to him to help his wife pay bills while he's gone.

"What a surprise.  It's overwhelming.  Just the fact that they gave part of what feeds their family is amazing," Ronnie said.

"I couldn't say anything.  I was so moved.  I was literally in shock.  The generosity was so overwhelming," said Michelle, Ronnie's wife of 17 years.

He could be deployed for as long as a year, so the gift from his co-workers left him humbled. Blue says he remains committed to his Navy service.  "That's the whole reason we're going over there is that we don't want them to come to us again," said Ronnie.

Blue is set to be deployed to Iraq in January. He's left his job to spend the remainder of December with his wife and children.

Bob Hallmark, Reporting.  bhallmark@kltv.com

 

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