Aurora cop set to guard ‘most dangerous people in the world’
By Denise Crosby email@example.com January 12, 2014 2:38PM
Standing behind son Scott Jr., 12, Aurora Police Officer Scott Carter Sr. is flanked by father Harold Jr., right; and grandfather Harold Sr., left, who represent three generations of service to country. | Submitted
Updated: February 14, 2014 6:13AM
Scott Carter comes from a long line of proud military men, including his father Harold, a retired Aurora police officer who served in combat in Vietnam, and his grandfather Harold Sr., who spent six months in a German prison camp during World War II.
So it’s no surprise that Carter, a cop himself for 22 years in Kane and Kendall counties and now serving in Aurora, decided in 2010 to join the Army Reserves.
It’s also no surprise that when the 43-year-old Plano man found out last June his unit, the 339th Military Police Co. out of Davenport, Iowa, was heading to Afghanistan, he was pumped.
“It was important that I serve in combat,” said Carter, “to carry on this family tradition.”
Then came word the mission was changed: Deployment would be to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where the reservists would be charged with guarding the 160 prisoners at the Naval Base detention center that a “60 Minutes” producer described after a visit there as a limbo much like “the border of hell.”
It’s not combat. But it’s no walk in the park either.
And Gitmo is certainly not without controversy, as was evident from that “60 Minutes” report last November that followed correspondent Lesley Stahl into the prison.
Most prisoners there have not been charged; none have gone on trial; and Congress declared they can’t set foot on American soil. So the suspected terrorists, all arrested after 9/11 and some being force-fed because of a hunger strike, remain in a hellish limbo, violent, frustrated and angry. Which makes guarding them all the more challenging — even dangerous, according to the news report.
Carter, who was promoted to Army sergeant last year, watched that CBS program as well. Yes, he’s fully aware the next 11 months are going to be interesting at this notorious prison that continues to spark hot debate across the globe. His father Harold, who happens to be taking classes in terrorist response, is “very proud of my son” but also concerned he’s going to be guarding “the most dangerous people in the world.”
“They are trying to destroy us,” he said. “As a dad, I worry.”
Guantanamo is certainly a world away from life in the Fox Valley. A week ago, Carter said goodbye to his wife, Michelle, and 12-year-old twins, Scott Jr. and Brianna, in Davenport, when about 400 people gathered to send off the 130 soldiers being deployed. Carter admitted in a phone conversation from Fort Bliss, Texas, where he’s receiving a month of training before heading to Cuba, that being away for so long — his kids are involved in everything from band to baseball — will be difficult. But Facetime and phone calls will have to suffice until his return in December.
And, yes, he’s excited about the mission at hand because he’s finally getting a chance to carry out a legacy.
“I’m ready to do the job,” he said, “to be a professional … and go home.”