Muscatine Fire Department is saying “see you later” to Firefighter Roy Patterson as Patterson will soon be serving his first deployment with the Air Force Reserve.
Patterson was been in the Air Force Reserve for five years and joined Muscatine Fire Department three years ago.
Serving in the military is something he wanted to do since childhood.
“My grandpa was in the Army and he was one of my heroes growing up,” Patterson said. “He did two tours in Korea and two tours in Vietnam.”
Patterson said that although he considered going into the Army right out of high school, after discussing it with his dad, he opted to do something different. However, serving in the military remained on his mind.
This deployment will be to SE Asia, where he will serve for approximately six months. His role in the Air Force is fire protection. Patterson’s unit has the primary focus of crash rescue fire fighting, but will also cover all of the structural fire fighting for the bases.
Patterson said that leaving his family will be the hardest part about deployment. Patterson and his wife Brennan have three boys – James, 8, Marshall, 6, and Colt, 2.
“Back when I used to dream about it and idolize my grandpa, I didn’t have a family of course, so it seemed a lot cooler back then,” Patterson said. “Now, I’m still looking forward to it. Really, my only drawback is leaving my family.”
While he has to leave his family during deployment, Patterson knows that he has his Muscatine Fire Department family watching over his wife and kids while he is gone.
“Being part of Muscatine Fire Department is like being part of a big family,” he said.
Firefighter Patterson shared that being a member of the Muscatine Fire Department helped prepare him for deployment by keeping him fresh on his skills.
He said that he is looking for this opportunity to serve.
Assistant Fire Chief and Fire Marshal Michael Hartman explained that Patterson’s role in the Air Force Reserve has been beneficial for the department and the City. Patterson came into the department with significant training and knowledge of operations. He actually wrote Muscatine Fire Department’s procedures for responding to airplane accidents and plane crash rescue.
“Roy has been a big asset for us,” Hartman said. “We are going to miss him, but we understand his obligations and that those obligations also pay back to the community and department.”