Building a Future for Distributors and Dealers of Building Products

January/February 2005                                Volume 44,  Issue 1

Honor a Soldier
         Blake Isaacson

Kolbe’s Citizen Soldier
Employer Shows Support for Reservist
by Samantha Carpenter

The war on terror has affected us all. For more than one reservist it has meant leaving a job and family for active duty in Afghanistan.

Blake Isaacson has been a maintenance technician at Kolbe and Kolbe in Wausau, Wis., for 13 years. He has been in the reserves for more than 23 years and is a Sergeant First Class (E7) with the National Guard Reserve out of Wausau.

After a recruiter spoke at his school, he felt strongly that joining the military was something he should do and joined the Reserves.

Isaacson left for Afghanistan on Easter Sunday 2004 and is expected to return in April 2005.
He and his wife, Michele, have five children.

According to Michele, her husband had mixed emotions about shipping out. He was excited, nervous and sad. His family felt his deployment was something that he had trained for all his life and it was his duty to serve his country.

Michele corresponds with her husband via e-mail everyday, and feels fortunate because she knows this is not possible everywhere.

Michele now has to be both mother and father to the children. Before her husband's deployment, she was going to school and working. She has put school on hold to devote more time to the family. 

“It is hard to spread yourself in so many directions,” she said.

At Kolbe and Kolbe, Isaacson's job is being filled temporarily. He has been guaranteed his position back with the company upon his return home.

Asked if any anticipated changes or adjustments will need to be made upon his return, Ann Mayer, marketing communications coordinator replied, “Blake will be able to slide right back into his position.” 

Samantha Carpenter is editor of SHELTER magazine.


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