One of Hillsborough’s own is heading to Afghanistan to serve his country.
Rob Movshin, an active member of the community in the school system and Junior Raiders youth football program, is an S4 Logistics Officer in the 117th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion of the 42nd Regional Support Group of West Trenton.
The battalion will deploy next week to Ft. Hood, Texas, before leaving next month for Kandahar, Afghanistan.
“It comes down to a pride thing. Lots of people say what we could do, should do or would do, but those of us in uniform are willing to do those things,” Movshin said. “The fact that I get to put my uniform on every day and the support that I’ve had from the community is outstanding. Everywhere we go, people say ‘Thank you for what you’re doing.' That serves as a validation of what we’re doing.”
Fulfilling a lifelong dream has been validation for himself. For as long as he can remember, he has wanted to serve in the military, and signed up as soon as he was legally eligible in 1992.
“I wish I had a better story than the fact that it was something I always wanted to do,” Movshin said. “Certain people have the ‘calling,' and I knew I always wanted to serve in uniform.”
There are downsides to leaving his home for such an extended period of time, of course. First and foremost, leaving family behind is always a tough proposition for anyone serving in the military.
“The current conditions where I’m going are not the best due to recent events, so there’s anxiety with that,” Movshin said. “There’s separation from the family, and I’m not looking forward to that, but I know that my children and my wife understand why I’m going.”
Movshin’s wife, Diane, also has mixed emotions of her husband's deployment.
“It’s a dangerous place, and you don’t want your loved one put in harm’s way. At the same time, I’m very honored and proud of him to know that he’s willing to put his life on hold and put his life out there and risk it for his country,” she said. “That’s the whole reason he wanted to serve, is to serve his country and his people. I’m confident in his abilities and his unit, and I know he has a job to do.”
Also difficult is leaving behind the community that means so much to him. In addition to coaching youth football and baseball in town, Movshin is heavily involved in the schools. This involvement includes a recent military event, at which Movshin appeared and spoke to students.
“As far as a town, this is America. This is real Americana,” Movshin said. “It’s a neighborhood town; we know everybody left and right. They’re faces we see and know, and everyone is beyond supportive.”
Members of the community with whom Movshin has worked were equally as complimentary.
“When you work with Rob, you completely understand what makes him both a great soldier and man. He has the prototypical ‘can do’ attitude in cooperative as well as leadership positions and he can step back from his role as coach to be a 'dad' when the situation calls for that,” Jr. Raiders Division III head coach Bill Nussbaum said.
“His schedule in preparation for deployment precluded him from having the same coaching role last season, but he was watching practice one night when it was obvious that his leadership was needed and he jumped in to help out. His participation made the difference in a successful practice.”
“He and his family have been in my thoughts since meeting them,” Nussbaum continued. “I thank him for his help and wish him a safe return.”
Audrey Shields, who has known the Movshins for six years through the borough’s youth sports organizations, said the dedicated father and coach will be missed while he's away.
“He is as dedicated father as he is a coach and he treats all of the kids with respect, while teaching them the skills they need to play football," Shields said. "We will miss Rob this year when he is gone and we wish him a safe and speedy return, even though he would stay away for multiple years if it meant he could protect his country. We have made his family know that we are always available if they need anything in the interim.”
As he makes his final preparations for his deployment, Movshin is confident in his own and his unit’s ability to perform their jobs and return home safely.
“You think you’re ready (to leave), but you really never are,” Movshin said, “but there’s no anxiety, because I know I’m going with a lot of trained individuals.”