Service technician Brian Poleshuk, of Newport, PA, returned home from Iraq on June 2 to not only his family, but also to many of his colleagues at Highway Equipment & Supply.
Poleshuk, a field technician with Highway Equipment, in Harrisburg, PA, shared his story with co-workers and friends at an event in his honor in early June. Highway Equipment President H. Michael “Mike” Liptak presented him with many awards for his bravery from state legislators, as well as gifts from coworkers. Local news stations and newspapers also were on hand to cover his homecoming.
Poleshuk’s job with Highway Equipment is to troubleshoot and get the customer up and running “as fast as we can,” he said.
While in the Middle East, Poleshuk was based at Camp Victory, in Kuwait, for six months, running missions to Tallil Airbase, in Iraq, and then at Balad Airbase, in Iraq, 25 mi. northwest of Baghdad, for six months. Seventeen mechanics worked 24/7 on 12-hour shifts. His job there was “to get supplies at the airbase and deliver them to all of the other airbases,” Poleshuk said. “We ran convoys of water, food and ammunition. Our main goal was always to keep the equipment cool, and up and running at all times.”
In the year he was deployed with the U.S. Army Reserves, his company had moved supply trucks 2.5 million mi. and the fleet he helped maintain had gone through 400 tires.
“The terrain was very rough with big holes and it was really hard on the equipment,” Poleshuk said. “We just had to keep them up and running.”
The fleet of 62 AM General tractors and trailers all had basic Cummins engines. “We didn’t do anything different to maintain them,” he said. “We just had to keep the antifreeze level factored.”
Before working for Highway Equipment and the U.S. Army, Poleshuk attended Dauphin County Vocational-Technical School, in Harrisburg, where he took up precision metal machine shop and welding.
When he graduated in 1994, he enlisted in the Army and worked with over-the-road equipment in Germany for four years. He stayed in the Reserves and began working for Highway Equipment & Supply, switching from over-the-road to heavy equipment.
“I still use my machinist skills, but most of my knowledge is from the military and working with Highway Equipment,” Poleshuk said,
Poleshuk lives with his wife, Charity, and sons Joshua, 8, and Eli, 9, in Newport, PA.
Highway Equipment’s main line is Volvo haul trucks, loaders, and graders, and Hitachi-Euclid 60 to 200-ton haul trucks.