Deputy district attorney Rory Devlin, who currently serves as the 18th Judicial District’s sole prosecutor for Elbert County, is preparing to swap out his suit and tie for camouflage attire, …
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Deputy district attorney Rory Devlin, who currently serves as the 18th Judicial District’s sole prosecutor for Elbert County, is preparing to swap out his suit and tie for camouflage attire, military food and helping the people of Afghanistan establish rules of law. Devlin is a captain in the Colorado Army National Guard, and has been called up for a second deployment, with a departure date of early October.
According to Devlin, who was raised in Aurora and now lives in Lone Tree, there are a lot of similarities between serving the people of Elbert County and the people of Afghanistan.
“I would say that both of my jobs are high pressure,” said Devlin. “You’re working all the time to try and protect the public at the DA’s office, and that’s the same thing we’re trying to do in Afghanistan.”
Part of his job, he said, is to work directly with Afghans to try and build rule of law, so they can protect their own public by creating a legal system that is fair.
“There’s a lot of common ground. They have a lot of the same problems as here, but they are obviously behind economically,” said Devlin. “They want to see their kids grow up in a safe environment and improve their families. We’re trying to help them do that through the rule of law.”
Devlin, who has been a practicing attorney since 2012, enlisted in the National Guard in 2010, and participated in ROTC in law school while attending the University of Denver.
He received an undergraduate degree in theology at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.
While there are similarities in his job descriptions, Devlin said there is always a risk of physical harm while deployed.
“There’s an inherent danger of the outside groups, individuals turning against the forces,” said Devlin. “Basically, when you move outside of military bases you’re at risk of IEDs and ambushes. Your biggest asset is the relationship you form with the individuals you’re mentoring.”
The dangers are worth it, according to Devlin.
“My particular area is their military justice. If they want to have a court-martial on one of their soldiers I advise them through that process,” said Devlin. “We teach them to be good stewards of the property and the people they have. No matter what happens when we leave, the fact is we have changed the place fundamentally.”
George Brauchler, district attorney for the 18th District and Republican candidate for attorney general of Colorado, said he knew when he hired Devlin that he would be called up for deployment, and the DA’s office will support him in every way possible during the nine months he’s in Afghanistan.
“Rory was really my first hire,” said Brauchler. “We are very supportive of veterans and active military, and we are going to do everything we can to accommodate service to our country. We’ll take care of Rory the best we can, and will send him way more care packages than he’ll ever want to receive.”
Brauchler, who is a colonel in the Colorado Army National Guard, has been in the military since 1992, and said he deliberately seeks candidates for jobs who are in the reserve, guard or former active-duty military.
“When I got elected into this office there were no active guardsmen. When I took over I knew I was going to try and recruit a bunch of reserve and guard and former active-duty JAG people, becaue I know what they bring to the table,” said Brauchler. “About 10 percent, if not more, of our crew are active reservists.”
Devlin is the second attorney to be deployed in the department. Currently Capt. Monique Washington is serving in Iraq.
Brauchler said the department will take care of things the best they can in Devlin’s absence, as well as make up the difference between active pay and what Devlin earns currently.
“We never put them in a position to make less while serving,” said Brauchler. “Rory’s a great attorney, and the risk he’s taking is real. He’s going over there to do a job that puts him in harm’s way. I want to honor and respect that.”
The DA’s office regularly sends care packages to Washington and will soon add Devlin to that list. Brauchler said soldiers working in his always like to receive letters from community members back home, and anyone wishing to write them should direct letters to the office at 6450 S. Revere Parkway, Centennial, CO 80111.
“Rory’s been a tremendous asset to the office and the community. I want him back as soon and safely as possible,” said Brauchler.
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