Deployed but present: How an Army Reserve military police officer stays connected with family during Atlantic Resolve

By Spc. William Dickinson | 24th Theater Public Affairs Support Element | Feb. 19, 2019

MIHAIL KOGALNICEANU, Romania — U.S. Army Reserve Sgt. Michael Auvil normally works as a Nevada state trooper in his civilian life. Now, Auvil serves his country as a military police officer with the 313th Military Police Detachment while deployed in support of Atlantic Resolve.

Auvil got his first taste of what it means to be a law enforcement officer when he was first stationed at Ansbach, Germany. After his service as an active-duty Soldier, Auvil took his skills to the state of Nevada.

“Before I was even a state trooper, I did security down on the Las Vegas strip,” Auvil said. “The training I received in the military helped me with maintaining my composure, and kept me cool, calm and collected, because, man, people are nuts!”

Auvil still stays connected with his Nevada state trooper colleagues back home and receives constant updates, which allows him to prepare for any changes when he returns to duty from Romania. 

“I love being out here in Europe, and here in Romania,” Auvil said. “On the professional side, we get to work with new people. We also get a chance to do ride-alongs with the Romanian MPs.”

Auvil is particularly interested in the differences between how Romanian and American forces conduct their police work, he said. Working with NATO allies and partners allows him to adapt and learn about a partner country’s police work.

Even with all his experiences abroad and as a law enforcement officer, the one thing he was not prepared for was being away from his Family. Communication with his family back home has given him the strength needed to carry out the mission, Auvil said.

“This deployment has been tougher than the ones previously because I was single on my previous ones,” Auvil said. “This is the first time I’ve been married and had a child. Communication is key to keep everything going, whether I’m having a bad day, or my wife Laura is having a bad day, we still talk.”

Laura Auvil, Sgt. Auvil’s wife, recognizes the struggles faced during deployment, especially when having to play an extra role while her husband is away.

“Being separated during deployment has been difficult, having multiple roles for the family,” said Laura. “What has helped is having family to fall back on, staying busy to keep my mind distracted, and talking with friends when times get really tough.”

Every Army family finds a way to cope with the stressors of being separated from their loved ones during deployment. For the Auvil family, a constant line of communication is key to healthy family relationships.

“Bottling things up, and just blowing it out of proportion sucks,” said Auvil. “You don’t need to do that. For us, it is all about talking and just getting to see each other, especially for Remington, our 2-year-old.”

Auvil values the moments when he gets to see his son throughout his deployment in Europe supporting Atlantic Resolve.

“My kid is growing up so fast, just getting bigger and bigger, and it sucks that I can’t be there personally, but I can’t imagine the guys who did it back in World War II, Vietnam, and the Korean War,” said Auvil. “They come back and it’s a whole different family, and I’m thankful I get the chance to see them while I’m over here.”