Saturday, December 13, 2008

Happy Birthday!!! … Now get to work.

A front loader from the 379th Engineer Company knock ice covered branches away from 
power lines in Gardner, Ma., during cleanup from the Great Ice Storm of 2008. 
(U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Don Veitch, Massachusetts National Guard)

Today marked the 372nd birthday of the Massachusetts National Guard-The Nation’s First. There was no cake, balloons or party to speak of. Why no celebration, you ask? The guard celebrated by performing their mission; helping out the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. There was no better way to celebrate the anniversary of the formation of the nation’s first defenders than to perform the vital mission they were created for.
The Great Ice Storm of 2008 struck the state and paralyzed central and western Massachusetts. Hundreds of Guardsmen worked throughout the day and night to clear roads for utility companies and provide food and shelter to citizens evacuated from their homes.
I went up to Gardner, Mass., and saw firsthand the impassible roads, iced over power lines and storm damage. Within a few hours the 379th Engineer Company had cleared the road of debris, knocked down the broken braches threatening the power lines and carted away all the downed trees.
Happy Birthday Massachusetts National Guard, job well done.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Teen Rekindles Spirit of Giving

Brewster teen, Dylan DeSilva, kneels alongside some of the more than 500 care
packages assembled during a Cape Cod Cares for our Troops drive held in Bourne, Mass.

BOURNE, Mass. – As the Holidays fast approach most Americans focus on the economy and how to make ends meet. Sixteen-year-old Dylan DeSilva isn’t like most Americans. The Brewster native is focusing his efforts on giving even more to others this season. DeSilva is “giving even more,” because he’s been giving for over four years.
When DeSilva was twelve years old, he started Cape Cod Cares for Our Troops. His goal that year was, with the help of his family and friends, to send a few care packages to U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Glory Revisited

Members of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment participate in a historic ceremony to reorganize 
the famous 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment at the State House in Boston, Nov. 21, 2008. 
(U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Don Veitch)

Today the Massachusetts National Guard re-designated it’s honor guard to the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment. The Ceremony took place with in the Hall of Flags at the State House. The Governor was on hand to personally recognize the unit to acknowledge the descendant of William H. Carney, the first African American and to earn the Medal of Honor.
In addition to the re-designation, 31 units of the Massachusetts National Guard were awarded their campaign streamers for actions in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
The Soldiers started of the ceremony by entering the State House through the grand front doors. Historically, the front doors of the State House are only opened when the Governor leaves  office, the President or a foreign Head of State arrives and when Massachusetts units are returning from battle.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Some Photos from Iraq

I’m home now! Here’s a few photos that Tell some of what I saw and experienced.

Outside the embassy annex

Dressed in my "Battle Rattle," I'm waiting for a lift over to the 
Combined Press Information Center for a unit briefing.

Receiving my combat patch

 Rear Admiral (Lower half) Fox came and affixed the Combat Patches on our Unit.

Where I hung my hat at night

Here is my half of my combat housing unit. Not much to look at, but at least it had air conditioning. The few times it broke the place was an oven even at night.