Back to studio.
Youve watched him for decades right here on KUTV Channel 2, 2News reporter Rod Decker. But the character on TV has another side when the cameras are turned off. Hes a military veteran, husband, father, and even a grandpa. In this weeks Person 2 Person Shauna Lake sits down with Rod Decker.
Below is a transcript of Shauna Lakes interview with Rod Decker:
SHAUNA LAKE: How many years have you been here exactly?
ROD DECKER: Started in 1980, November 1980. So itll be what 33 years in November.
SHAUNA LAKE: And how did you get into TV? Were you a newspaper guy first?
ROD DECKER: Yeah I got married, and I didnt have a job. And the guy who ran the Deseret News lived across the street from my mother, and when I was a little boy he said, maybe you should come and work for me at the Deseret News, Rod. So when I needed a job I called him up and asked him. He had however seen me since and said, no, no, no were all full seeing how I turned out. But my mother then sat on her front porch and stared at his door until he hired me. So I got hired at the Deseret News.
SHAUNA LAKE: Tell me about your stint in Vietnam. What was that like for you? Did it change you as a person?
ROD DECKER: Well it may have. Its hard to tell. When I went to college, when I was young, they had the draft. And they told me, and I believed them, though it turns out not to have been true, that you had to go. They got you. You could be drafted or you could do something else. I did something else. I was in Army ROTC. So when I graduated, I became a second Lieutenant. But then I had to go. I had agreed. So they sent me to Vietnam. I didnt want to go to Vietnam. I thought the war was not a good war. It was not a good war. But when I got over there I then came to see that while it was not a good war and while it would have been better had we never gotten in, we were in. And once in, it was better if we had won than if we lost. So I extended over there for six months. And when I came home I stuck up for the war, and everyone thought I was a nut. What kind of murderer are you? And people yelled at me. I mean it wasthe most intense part for me was coming home and having everyone yell at me.
SHAUNA LAKE: Did it hurt?
ROD DECKER: What?
SHAUNA LAKE: Did it hurt when you came home and had that reaction?
ROD DECKER: I was angry all the time.
SHAUNA LAKE: What did you do to fix that?
ROD DECKER: Nothing, had a beer.
SHAUNA LAKE: What about your wife Chris?
ROD DECKER: Oh shes wonderful. Shes a judge. Shes a juvenile judge. Shes a Catholic woman who looks after people. She has disabled people she goes and takes care of. Old people she goes and helps them with Communion and what she cares about is her kids, and she takes care of me. I need quite a bit of taking care of.
SHAUNA LAKE: Youve been married how many years?
ROD DECKER: 1972 so that is 42.
SHAUNA LAKE: 42 years?
ROD DECKER: Yes.
SHAUNA LAKE: Thats a long time.
ROD DECKER: Pretty long.
SHAUNA LAKE: Thats a huge success story in this day and age.
ROD DECKER: Well its a long marriage, I dont know. Not only have we been married 42 years, but she says shes happy, and Im really, really, really happy. She makes me really happy.
SHAUNA LAKE: What about your kids?
ROD DECKER: Lets see, Ive got three kids. Theyre all married.
SHAUNA LAKE: Youre a grandpa?
ROD DECKER: I am
SHAUNA LAKE: I mean whats that like?
ROD DECKER: But not much. Most guys my age have more grandkids than I. I have one grandkid, but Im getting to more quick, two more coming quick.
SHAUNA LAKE: Thats a big deal. I mean is that thrilling for you?
ROD DECKER: Grandparents like their grandkids and I like my granddaughter, and shes wonderful.
SHAUNA LAKE: Whats something that makes you happy?
ROD DECKER: Being with my wife makes me happy. Good books make me happy. Drinking beer with my friends makes me happy. Seeing my kids makes me very happy.
SHAUNA LAKE: I have one more thing to tell you. On your birthday, you dont know this of course, but I wished you a happy birthday on my Facebook page, 562 people responded
ROD DECKER: My goodness.
SHAUNA LAKE: But you would never know because you dont know how to do Facebook.
ROD DECKER: I dont. Ive never done Facebook.
SHAUNA LAKE: Or Twitter.
ROD DECKER: No.
SHAUNA LAKE: You dont know how to answer a text.
ROD DECKER: Thats true.
SHAUNA LAKE: Why do you refuse to get on this bandwagon with technology?
ROD DECKER: I thought I was doing pretty well. I can use a cell phone. I use a computer.
SHAUNA LAKE: No Rod.
ROD DECKER: Well now wait a minute. Theres no moral stigma attached to not Tweeting. Not going on Facebook. You try to keep your teenage kids off, why shouldnt I stay off?
SHAUNA LAKE: Because a mutual friend asked me to hand deliver a birthday invitation that she had emailed to you that she knew you would never receive.
ROD DECKER: Thats true. I dont do email. Well I do it, but I dont pay any attention to it.
SHAUNA LAKE: Do you want to get with the program at any point? I had several people offer to teach you.
ROD DECKER: I dont want to do that.
SHAUNA LAKE: Im just saying youre loved.
ROD DECKER: Oh well thank you.
SHAUNA LAKE: I love and adore you and its been so fun to get to know you even better Person 2 Person.
ROD DECKER: Oh well thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
SHAUNA LAKE: Rod, thanks.
-Produced by Leslie Tillotsen
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group.)