011302 apnews 7 Jacksonville.com Before Sept. 11, 30-year-old Jennifer Blenker was a police officer for the North Port City Police and living a quiet life with her son near Sarasota. -->Sunday, January 13, 2002
Story last updated at 09:45 a.m. on Sunday, January 13, 2002
Reservists around Florida, country ready for active dutyThe Associated Press
...EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - Before Sept. 11, 30-year-old Jennifer Blenker was a police officer for the North Port City Police and living a quiet life with her son near Sarasota.
is shouldering an automatic rifle, wearing the uniform of an Air Force police officer and living in temporary digs on Eglin Air Force Base.
"When I got the call that said, 'You are on active duty,' my son looked at me and said, 'You are not leaving without me,' " said Blenker
, a single mother and Air Force reservist.
Fortunately for Blenker
, when she
duffel bag to return to active duty after separating from the Air Force in 1998, she
was able to take the 9-year-old to her
assignment at Eglin.
Not all of the 58,741 reservists and National Guardsmen from across the country who have been called to active duty are so lucky.
Some have been sent overseas in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.Others had to leave families behind because they could not disrupt their spouse's jobs or children's schools. "It goes with the territory," said Blenker, of what it means to be a member of the Reserves, as she took a brief break from searching for bombs and weapons in delivery trucks entering the west gate of Eglin.
"Some had new homes.Many have taken pay cuts.We have one software technician that was making $100,000 a year.His
pay has been reduced to enlisted-rank pay," said Lt.