Blunt activated for short stint in Navy over holiday

Thursday, December 11, 2003

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Secretary of State Matt Blunt has been activated for a short duty with the Naval Reserve and will be stationed over Christmas in England, a spokesman said Wednesday.

Blunt is to serve Dec. 15 through 31 at the West Ruislap Royal Air Force Base near London, the same place where he spent about six months as an assistant operations and security officer after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, said Blunt spokesman Spence Jackson.

Blunt's latest active duty is part of his annual commitment to the Navy Reserves, where he is a lieutenant.

During Blunt's absence in parts of 2001 and 2002, Executive Deputy Secretary of State Dan Ross managed the daily affairs of the office, and Blunt kept tabs on its work through regular phone calls and e-mails.

But this time, Blunt has no plans to turn over his authority, Jackson said.

"He will be in touch with the office daily and will continue to direct and manage it via phone and e-mail," Jackson said.

Blunt, 33, graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and served as an engineering officer aboard the frigate USS Jack Williams. He later spent two years as a navigator and administrative officer on the destroyer USS Peterson.

After his original Navy service, Blunt served a single two-year term in the Missouri House before winning the secretary of state's race in 2000.

He is the son of U.S. Rep Roy Blunt, R-Mo., who was Missouri's secretary of state from 1985 through 1992.

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