LIVONIA, Mich. (WXYZ) — Taking roll call on a web call on a webcam is the way nearly all city council meetings start these days. With every member sitting at home, wherever home may be at the time.
“Currently I serve in the Middle East,” Livonia City Councilman Robert Donovic said over a zoom call. "I serve as a door gunner with the 28th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade.”
Soldier by day, councilman by night. Livonia City Council’s youngest member is currently deployed with the Army National Guard, flying in a CH-47 Chinook helicopter as a door gunner.
“The missions come and go, there’s different missions throughout the region,” Donovic said.
A first-generation American, Donovic’s family came to the U.S. from Albania nearly 40 years ago. Enlisting in the military just seemed right.
“I wanted to join the military because I felt like it was the way I could pay back the country that gave my family everything we have,” Donovic said. "What an awesome thing. I could voluntarily join the military and stand up for this thing we call freedom, this thing my family traveled thousands of miles to go after.”
He says he has missed a few committee meetings, but despite his busy schedule Donovic hasn’t missed a single council meeting, which for him start at 2 a.m.
“The fact that Mr. Donovic is thousands and thousands of miles away serving our country, really it doesn't feel different when you watch the zoom meetings,” said Council President Kathleen McIntyre.
Not even 30 years old, Donovic has already done more public service than many will do in a lifetime. His goal? To inspire more Americans to do the same.
“I really hope I can motivate other soldiers to get engaged in their communities,” Donovic said.