46-year-old Dover man re-enlists to serve country
DOVER — Thanksgiving is Michael Jaouen’s favorite holiday, but this year, it had added significance for him and his family: it was the last day he got to spend with them before heading to Texas for an Army training boot camp.Jaouen will spend a month in Texas before leaving for a year-long tour in Afghanistan on the day after Christmas.“As I get older, I really appreciate Thanksgiving,” he said, explaining that the holiday honors family and togetherness and is not commercialized in the way other holidays are. “It means so much more to me.”He was originally scheduled to deploy on Tuesday, Nov. 15, but a change of plans worked in his favor. “It was really special that I got Thanksgiving.”Jaouen first joined the military when he was 17 years old, serving in the Air Force from 1984 to 1990. He rejoined the military — the Army National Guard this time — in January of this year at the age of 46.Once his training is complete, Jaouen will be part of the Military Police Law and Order Detachment.In between his two enlistments, Jaouen worked with the New York State Police for 19 years, which included nine years as a trooper and five years as an investigator.Jaouen is the father of two boys and one girl. One of his sons is currently in the National Guard Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC).Jaouen and his son researched military career options before they each decided to join the Army.Jaouen said he was attracted to the Army’s discipline, camaraderie, physical fitness, professionalism, benefits and promise of a better future for him and his children.He was also guided by a sense of duty.Since his two sons are in college and his daughter is nearing the end of her high school career, he feels that he has done his job as a parent and now wants to help others.“I’ve done what I needed to do here,” he said, explaining that if thousands of other parents with younger children can answer the call of duty, so can he.Jaouen is a member of the Millerton American Legion Post 178 and has lived in Dover for 20 years.He is one of 45 people deploying as part of the military police detachment.