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Troy Kelley returns from Korea

State rep is also a soldier

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State Rep. Troy Kelley (D-Tacoma) is used to juggling many things at the same time.

The Democratic member of the Washington State House of Representatives has represented District 28 since 2006. He has also owned and operated a small business, a document tracking company, since 1984.

And his service in the U.S. Army Reserves is coming up on 20 years. He also coaches his son's pee-wee football team.

"It's something I'm pretty well adjusted to by now," he said of the juggling act. "I do it all because I enjoy it."

That act got a bit tougher recently, as Kelley was called to do a tour in Korea on Oct. 22 as part of his Reserve commitment. The assignment came just weeks before the Legislature is scheduled to go into special session Nov. 28.

"Leaving before a special session is a little different, but I just have a bunch of meetings this week so I can hit the ground running," said Kelley, who returned to Washington on Nov. 5.

Kelley, a major and a judge advocate, was sent to Korea for the fifth time in 18 years. He spent the time there working on working on administrative law issues at the Army Garrison Yongsan in Seoul.

"This assignment went real well with my previous job with the Reserves," he said.

Earlier in his career, Kelley served as a professor/associate editor for the Military Law Review at the Judge Advocate Generals School in Charlottesville, Va.

On his previous trips to Korea, he focused on international law within joint field exercises, and on legal assistance to Soldiers, helping them with tax and family law issues and other legal matters.

While things can get hectic with all the balls Kelley has in the air at a time, he said his many hats give him a unique perspective on the legislature when it comes to various issues that relate to those in his district.

"When things like running a small business and dealing with Labor and Industries come up, I know because I've had to file the paperwork as an owner," Kelley said. " And when issues come up about troops dealing with coming back from deployments and reintegrating, I know because I deal with those issues all the time in my service. It gives you insight into those issues, and that's important."

He left for Korea on Oct. 22 on a military transport, stopping en route at Misawa Air Base on northern Honshu Island in Japan, where the effects of the March tsunami were still evident. His time in Korea has coincided with visits by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Kelley is scheduled to return to the United States Nov. 5. The Legislature is scheduled to go into special session Nov. 28.


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