Sailor gets the call, mission takes him eastA seven-year veteran of the River Falls Police Department, Denton Anderson, leaves later this month for Naval duties in the Middle East.
By: Debbie Griffin, River Falls Journal
A seven-year veteran of the River Falls Police Department, Denton Anderson, leaves later this month for Naval duties in the Middle East.
“It’s been very humbling, the outpouring of support,” said Denton, a Naval reservist originally from Hudson.
His wife Muffi, also a Naval reservist, agrees. “The support from the town has been amazing.”
The two met in 2005 during basic training after they enlisted. Now they’re married, have a two-year-old son named Quentin and live in River Falls.
Denton usually does weekend training at Fort Snelling in Minnesota. For his annual three-week training, he goes to Rota, Spain.
“I was randomly pulled from my parent command in Rota,” he said.
He was conducting a special warfare training exercise in California during January when his commander called him: “You’re going to the sand for a year.”
Denton said he’s surprised it took this long for his call to come. The 29-year-old said as far as he knows, he’ll first travel to Washington state, then possibly to Kuwait and finally to undisclosed locations.
“My rate is master at arms,” he said.
He explains that the specialty is a bit like military police. He said since 9/11, the role of that group of specialists has morphed into protecting military assets and against terrorism.
Most people pulled for the mission have law enforcement or security backgrounds and experience. Denton said the group will augment an ad-hoc unit.
“We could be a variety of things,” he said.
Denton anticipates that the mission will include counterinsurgency efforts, detection of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and their more sophisticated relative, explosively formed penetrators (EFPs).
“Nothing about this is glamorous,” he said. “It is what it is.”
Both he and Muffi, an intelligence specialist, say they knew what they were getting into when they signed up to be Navy reservists.
Though technically Muffi could get called to duty while Denton is gone, the Andersons can file a family hardship to reduce or eliminate that chance.
Denton said the news of deployment overwhelmed him at first. He thinks it was good he was in training and among war veterans when he heard.
They helped him put things in perspective.
He said, “It made the digestion of the news a lot easier.”
Muffi got the news that evening when her husband phoned. She said being in the Navy herself helped prepare for what Denton had to tell her.
“I knew what to expect,” she said.
Denton said he’s grateful to his fellow police officers for helping cover things while he’s away. Chief Roger Leque will ask the City Council to approve a temporary replacement for the year Denton will be gone.
Denton, whose parents live in Hudson, said he took the month of March off to spend with his family and take care of necessary paperwork.
The soon-to-be-deployed sailor said he’s doing “OK” with the whole deployment but says being away from his “little guy” will be the hardest thing.