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The newly re-elected York County clerk of courts will spend at least the first six months of his new term on active military duty in Afghanistan.

Lt. Col. Don O'Shell is a personnel officer in the Pennsylvania Air National Guard will go through some additional training before he's deployed overseas at the start of 2016, he said.

"It's going to be an adventure and an opportunity to serve my country," he said. "I'm looking forward to it."

This will be his first deployment.

O'Shell secured his fourth term in office during an uncontested race on Tuesday. He was first elected to office in 2003.

Service: O'Shell has served with the Air National Guard 21 years and went through three months of specialized training for personnel officers last year.

His role in Afghanistan will essentially be in human resources. He will monitor personnel evaluations, discharges and promotions and other personnel matters for U.S. and coalition forces and contractors, he said.

"I feel a great obligation to serve and to serve with them (the unit he's been assigned to)," O'Shell said.

O'Shell received word in the spring that he'd be deployed and was originally slated to be sent to Kuwait. But the plans changed and he was received given the option of serving in Afghanistan.

County duties: Though O'Shell will be halfway around the world, he plans to keep tabs on what's going on in the county's clerk of courts office.

During stateside training in the past, he would keep connected with the office via email, the phone and other means, he said.

The great difference in time zones between Afghanistan and Pennsylvania will actually play in O'Shell's favor, he said.

"My evenings are their days and I'm planning to hop on the county system to check my email," O'Shell said.

— Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.

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