A member of the New Albany Police Department will soon be deployed to Afghanistan with the U.S. Army Reserve.
Sgt. Joe Keaton will be deployed for nine months in January. Keaton was also deployed to Iraq for 12 months in 2009.
He has been in the Army Reserve for 31 years and has also been to Korea and Germany.
He was 18 years old when he joined the Army Reserve and said he will miss his family when he is deployed in January.
He joined the Army Reserve at a young age because he wanted to stay off the streets and make something of himself. His uncle was also in the National Guard and seemed to enjoy it. Serving the country was kind of a “family tradition,” said Keaton.
He has enjoyed serving in the Army Reserve, saying it has given him an opportunity to travel and meet people.
Keaton also loves serving the community as a member of the police force in New Albany.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to become a police officer,” said Keaton, who has been on the force for six years.
As a police officer, he likes helping people and said he will miss it while he is deployed.
But he is glad that he will be able to serve in another way as a member of the Army Reserve. It feels “great” to serve the country, he said, adding, “It gives me a sense of pride, honor.”
Keaton, who grew up in Hamilton between Aberdeen and Columbus, has been living in New Albany for more than 20 years.