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.