Sunday, March 9 2014 10:54 PM EDT2014-03-10 02:54:31 GMT
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Walbridge, OH (Toledo News Now) -
Monday was the first day back on the job for a Walbridge police officer after he was deployed to Afghanistan for a year.
Officer Tyler Swerlein spent the last year working as a gunner transporting supplies in southern Afghanistan.
"It's weird being back," he said. "Twelve months went by like that. I guess that's a good thing because I'm back home."
Being home brings a new set of challenges for Swerlein. He must pick up where he left off as a civilian, but says what he learned overseas will make him a better police officer.
"You have to make split-second decisions and then make sure it's the right one, because you have to live with the consequence or the reaction that comes with that consequence," he said.
He says he decided to be a police officer before he joined the National Guard. Half a dozen of Swerlein's fellow officers at the Walbridge Police Department are veterans or actively involved in the military.
"I just wanted to live both sides, both worlds," he said. "I've been to five, six different countries; I've flown around the world one and a half times."
And he says his time overseas has changed his life.
"It pushed me to be more positive towards life in general, because you don't take the small things in life for granted," he said.
Swerlein says he would go back in a heartbeat, and he'd do anything to serve his country.