Police officer juggles military duty, family
Tonganoxie police officer Brian Daily has been called up by the Air National Guard, but he also has matters on his own homefront.
Daily was activated for one year by the 190th Security Forces from Topeka on Sept. 30. His son Garrett, who has leukemia, had a bone marrow transplant Thursday.
"It's been difficult, obviously," Daily said.
Garrett, who was born May 9, came through the surgery successfully, although physicians told Daily that days two through nine after surgery were the toughest.
"It was pretty rough last night," Daily said on Monday. "The chemotherapy was much more intense this time. They had to completely destroy bone marrow he has now."
The recent national events have brought military activity, but the attack on New York and Washington, D.C., on Sept. 11 also affected Garrett. A plane carrying umbilical-cord blood for surgery couldn't reach Kansas City because of the no-fly regulations after the attack. Daily contacted officials to transport the blood by military planes, but he was unsuccessful.
Eventually airports were functioning again and Garrett received the blood.
Daily was concerned about his duty with the Guard and personal matters with his son, but his unit has allowed him to stay with Garrett, his wife, Megan, and 4-year-old son, Christian, until Garrett recovers from surgery. When that occurs, he will work with the Guard full-time at Forbes Field in Topeka.
"I've had the Guard's full support," Daily said. "I wish I could be there with them. It's more than just a military unit. It's a group of friends and almost another family."
Daily is unsure what will happen he returns to Topeka. The need for airport security is an obvious possibility.
In the meantime, Daily continues his position with the Tonganoxie Police Department, although his son's condition has reduced his work time. Being part-time would take Daily off the city's insurance plan, a problem with his son's situation. He said the city is working on the issue, and he also would have active duty insurance when he returns to Topeka.
Daily served in the Air Force for four years and was on inactive reserve for a year before joining the Air National Guard roughly a year ago.
The recent occurrences have been difficult for Daily, but they had a major impact on him the night after surgery Friday.
"It's kind of anti-climactic," Daily said. "We've seen the procedure fail for other people. We've been so fortunate so far."