SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A western Massachusetts state representative will deploy to the other side of the world.
State Representative John Velis serves western Massachusetts and the country in more ways than one. You probably know him as a Westfield state representative, but he’s also a captain in the U.S. Army Reserve.
It’s his role in the Army Reserve that will bring him to South Korea for training with US allies.
“It’s an interesting time, whats going on over there,” said State Rep. Velis. “So it’s not really a surprise anytime you sign up, you know at any point in time you could be asked to go over there. So I’m not really surprised.”
This training just happened to fall during the state legislature’s summer recess, so it will not affect his work as a state representative.
“I think it only benefits it. Massachusetts only has four, interestingly enough we have the most state reps who are also active service members,” said Velis. “It makes us the most in the country. It broadens my experience and it makes me better at what I do. Practically at being an advocate for veteran.”
Serving overseas is not something new to Velis, prior to his election, he spent a year in Afghanistan.
Rep. Velis expects to be in the Korean peninsula for six weeks, and said he does not expect to miss any votes.
He also told 22news during his deployment his office will still be fully functioning.