A Babylon Town councilwoman who serves as an active duty Army Reservist is about to be deployed overseas.
Councilwoman Jackie Gordon, a lieutenant colonel, said Thursday that her unit has received orders to deploy to the Middle East early next year. Gordon, 46, is commander of the 310th Military Police Battalion in Uniondale. She said she believes she is the first woman and first African-American to command the unit.
This is her fourth deployment.
Gordon, who has two adult children, said she is prepared and is readying her family for her one-year absence.
"The first deployment, it was really unknown," she said. "At that point Reserves in that volume had not been called up since probably World War II. . . . Now, four deployments later, I know when I get the call, I know what I need to do, what I need to prepare my family, my children."
In 1991, Gordon served as a platoon leader in the 340th Military Police Company in Hanau, Germany, during Operation Desert Storm. While with the 455th Battalion Liaison Detachment in 2002, she was sent to Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, as operations officer of the Joint Detention Operations Group.
In 2003, she spent a year in Baghdad as a battle captain during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Gordon, who was first elected to the board in 2006 to fill an unexpired term, is running for re-election on the Democratic, Working Families, Independence and Cuomo Bellone Reform lines.
The town announced it is proposing a new law that would allow the board to select someone to serve as an alternate council member for up to one year during a board member's military deployment. Town spokesman Tim Ruggeri said current board member Ellen McVeety, who announced this summer that she is not seeking re-election, has agreed to serve as the alternate in Gordon's absence, should Gordon be re-elected.
"I'm looking forward to returning to the town board if I'm privileged enough to win. . . . And when I come home, I'll be able to continue the work that I've been doing," Gordon said.
Thomas Gargiulo, who is running for a seat on the Republican and Conservative lines, said the proposed law "is only fair." Gargiulo, whose son was recently deployed to the Middle East as part of his service with the Merchant Marine, said, "I think what she is doing is great . . . I wish her well and thank her for serving our country."
William "Matt" Groh, who is also running for a town board seat on the Republican and Conservative lines, did not respond to requests for comment.