Law Director Officially Ordered to Deploy to Afghanistan Soon
Stow Law Director Brian Reali will be deploying to Afghanistan soon for an Ohio Army National Guard assignment that could last from seven to 10 months.
Ohio National Guard Member and Stow Law Director Brian Reali received official orders to deploy to Afghanistan.
Amber Kerek, who is taking over as law director while Reali is gone, said his last day of work is Friday and he is being deployed June 16.
"I'm excited to go serve our country. It is an honor," said Reali, who is in his second, four-year term as law director. "I will absolutely miss my four kids and family."
Reali has four children that range from ages 3 to 11.
"The two younger ones don’t have a concept of what the time span is and the two older ones are doing OK. They both saw daddy go before, but it’s probably harder on them than anyone,” he previously said.
Reali is going as an Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA) and deploying with an active duty unit from Washington.
In anticipation of Reali’s deployment, City Council approved ordinances in May increasing the work hours of two law department employees to help fill the void created by his absence.
"Deputy Law Director Amber Kerek will do her best to operate the department in a manner that ensures continuation of the quality services the law department provides to the city, and I have full confidence in her ability to lead the city's legal department in Brian's absence," said Mayor Sara Drew.
Reali said the law department will be "in good hands and residents can still contact me via email or cell."
Reali has been with the Ohio Army National Guard since 2000. He is a judge advocate, or Army lawyer, with Joint Force Headquarters Ohio.
“A judge advocate can do everything from contact law to law of war to criminal prosecution to administrative actions,” Reali, 41, explained.
He has served two, 10-month tours of duty since 2005: one in Kosovo, when he was Stow’s deputy law director, and another in Kuwait in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom after being elected as law director. He also served a short stint in Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina.
This latest deployment is expected to last from seven to 10 months.
"The city of Stow wishes Brian a smooth transition to his deployment in Afghanistan and we all will be eagerly awaiting his safe return to Stow. Everyone is grateful for the sacrifices he and his family will be making during this latest overseas assignment," said Drew. "I know many people, myself included, will worry about Brian during his deployment and will feel relief when he is home safely."