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Deputy will serve a year in military police in Afghanistan

Timothy Pierce, state veterans’ counselor, Deputy Robert Budwick, Sheriff Richard Cutting, and Undersheriff Michael Badger present Cutting with recognition for veteran services.

Timothy Pierce, state veterans’ counselor, Deputy Robert Budwick, Sheriff Richard Cutting, and Undersheriff Michael Badger present Cutting with recognition for veteran services. Photo by Katherine Clark.

— The Essex County Sheriff’s Department gave a send-off to one of its own before he leaves for Afghanistan.

Deputy Robert Budwick will serve in the military police for a one-year deployment with his Army Reserve unit at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan.

Budwick has been a member of the Sheriff’s Department since 2007 and joined the Army Reserves a year later.

Budwick said his unit, based in Worcester, Mass., has had a few missions to deploy but for one reason or another they were cancelled.

“Luckily the missions were cancelled early on. I’ve heard soldiers say their deployments were cancelled while on the tarmac about to fly out.They had already let leases expire and gotten rid of their apartments,” said Budwick.

Sheriff Richard Cutting said his fellow Sheriff’s Department members stand behind Budwick and promise to be there to help in any way they can.

“We have 68 members of our Sheriff’s Department. Sixteen of them are veterans, and two are active reserve members,” Cutting said.

Cutting was recognized by the office of the secretary of defense for employer support of the Guard and Reserve. Timothy Pierce, a state veterans counselor, presented Cutting with a certificate of recognition on April 10.

“We aim to be as supportive as we can to our veteran staff and enlisted sheriffs,” Cutting said. “We’ll all be here waiting for him to get back.”

Cutting sent Budwick off with several New York state trooper patches for him to take with him to trade with other unit members.

Budwick said he will miss the upcoming Adirondack summer and his wife, Maghan Budwick, while in Afghanistan.

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