Mayor Recalled to Naval Reserve Duty

Story Number: NNS030325-01Release Date: 3/25/2003 8:22:00 AM
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By Journalist Seaman Cory L. Weber, Naval Construction Battalion Center Gulfport Public Affairs

GULFPORT, Miss. (NNS) -- Navy Reservist Rosalyn Reeder is one of many recently mobilized Reservists stationed at the Naval Construction Battalion Center (NCBC) who have answered the call to duty. For Reeder, serving her country is an everyday effort

At NCBC Gulfport, Miss., she is known as Yeoman Second Class Reeder of the 20th Seabee Readiness Group Atlantic (SRGLANT) Admin department. However, residents of Summit, S.C., call her "Mayor."

In what was originally thought to be a training exercise, Reeder reported to Gulfport in early February. There, she handled administrative paperwork, including orders for Sailors being sent overseas. Shortly after, she was notified that the time had come to put her training to use and reported to SRGLANT.

"I am in awe of the troops coming together and everyone working together. All the mobilized Reservists, active duty and staff are a great team," she said. "I feel the leadership here is very motivating and gives us all a sense of pride in being a Seabee."

While Reeder is serving, four councilmen are helping to run things back in Summit, a town of 242 residents located between Augusta, Ga., and Columbia, S.C.

Reeder has served as mayor of Summit since being elected in 1992. As mayor, part of her job is to write grants to try and get funding for her small town.

"When I first became mayor, I worked with the National Guard, and we built a round walking track for the locals to exercise. I wanted to encourage healthy lifestyles and promote more walking and bike riding in the community," said Reeder. It's this kind of caring and devotion to duty that has maintained her title as mayor, even though she now lives almost 600 miles away.

"Balancing both roles could be difficult," said Howard Duvall, executive director of the municipal Association of South Carolina. "A small-town leader does a lot of things. So a lengthy absence could be felt."

Reeder understands the challenges and is constantly looking out for the best interests of her hometown.

"I'm ready to step down as mayor if handling the job while in the military proves too difficult," said Reeder. "That would only be fair.

"Every job in the armed forces is very important in terms of serving our great country," said Reeder. "We all have a job to do, and being a part of it has made me very proud. I am thankful to be able to have a part in this journey and will do the best I can to help in our efforts."

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