Homeport National Guard Member Back From Duty In Washington
Homeport’s “Eagle” has landed.
After a year in Washington D.C. in support of the Capital region’s radar and ground-based air defense system, Will Wahler has returned to real estate accounting duty at Homeport.
“Will's deployment was the first time anyone at Homeport had been called up for active duty,” said Homeport CFO Valorie Schwarzmann.
“When his orders arrived and he had to leave, it was very difficult to say goodbye on a personal and professional level. We’re glad for his return and his commitment to secure our homes, our country. For that we thank him,” Schwarzmann added.
For almost 16 years Wahler has served in the Ohio National Guard. His rank is Chief Warrant Officer and his commitment involves regular training, one weekend a month and two consecutive weeks during the year.
Guard duty can range from keeping the peace in the event of civil unrest, to rescuing individuals in peril following a disaster, such as a flood, to fighting wars, including, most recently, Afghanistan and Iraq.
But in 2014 Wahler learned he would be one of 40 Ohio National Guard members deployed – for a year -- to support “Operation Noble Eagle,” a Homeland Defense mission.
“The main mission is to make sure 9-11 does not happen again and to protect our U.S. assets in the National Capital Region,” Wahler said.
He credits Homeport in enabling him to make the transition from real estate management to managing computer network operations as an Information Control Officer.
“Homeport was very supportive in the training leading up to mobilization and while I was gone,” Wahler said.
Homeport CFO Schwarzmann said Wahler’s departure forced Homeport to divvy up job tasks, a sacrifice that paled in comparison to that of Wahler, his wife and three children ages 3 to 12.
“I was able to visit home a handful of times and my family had the opportunity to visit Washington D.C.” he said. “The kids have grown up with me being in the Guard. It doesn’t mean they like it, but they do understand the service.”
Wahler said his wife, Mandie, also deserves accolades for attending the many school events and the numerous other kids activities from sporting events to dance lessons. “To juggle three kids and make it to all their events by herself is a logistical feat.” The support received from family and friends also played an important role.
As for himself: “It’s good to be back and see all the people here (at Homeport) and to be a full time Dad. I’m coaching basketball now and attending many of the kids’ events. I’m looking forward to coaching soccer in the spring.”