SPRINGFIELD - State Sen. Rick Winkel, R-Champaign, was on the Senate floor voting on bills most of Wednesday, but is anxiously keeping tabs on the news of war, and how it might affect his son.
David Winkel, 20, does reconnaissance as a cavalry scout for an armored brigade in the Army. - He has been stationed in Germany, but is headed for the Middle East.
"I haven't talked to him in seven days," Winkel said. "The last I talked to him, he just got his orders to be deployed, and they're all packed up and ready to go."
Winkel said he and his wife, Deb, are very concerned about their son, particularly because of the job he chose.
"Reconnaissance is a job in the Army where you go out and find the enemy," he said. "I asked David, 'could you not have maybe looked at a different job?' and he, in typical fashion, told me that if he was doing something else, and found out about cavalry scouts, he'd hate himself for not being one. So he loves the small team, the speed of the work, the training and camaraderie, and they are ready to go."
David has signed on for four years in the Army, but is considering the military as a career, Winkel said.
"Deb and I are very proud of David," he said. "He's grown up an awful lot and he's doing great. But I'm anxious to hear from him. He assured us that he would be able to call us before he took off, but we can't be sure of that. So I assume, at the moment, since we haven't heard from him, that he's still in Germany, but I can't be sure. It's hard."
You can reach Kate Clements at (217) 782-2486 or via e-mail at email@example.com.