Thursday, December 30, 2010

54th Massachusetts DUI

This is the distinctive unit insignia of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment. The 54th is the Ceremonial Honor Guard of the Massachusetts National Guard and carries the lineage of the fighting 54th, the first African-American regiment organized during the Civil War, depicted in the Movie “Glory.”
Today the 54th is responsible for conducting Military Honors at service member funerals.
The Massachusetts National Guard’s Honor Guard was recently re-designated as the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment in a ceremony at the State House in Boston and the regiment marched, along with 54th Regiment re-enactors, in the Presidential inaugural parade, Jan. 20, 2009.
This illustration was completed in Corel Painter 11 and from the original Adobe Illustrator Files I created to have the DUI pins cast in metal.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Salem designated as birthplace of the National Guard

SALEM, Mass. – Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick signs legislation designating the City of Salem as the birthplace of the National Guard as local and state legislature, veterans groups and members of the Massachusetts National Guard look on during an official ceremony held at the Salem city hall, Aug. 19, 2010. The origins of the National Guard are traced back to Salem Common, the location of the fist muster of militiamen in 1637. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Don Veitch, Massachusetts National Guard Public Affairs)

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Don Veitch, Massachusetts National Guard Public Affairs
SALEM, Mass. – Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick signed legislation designating the city of Salem as the birthplace of the National Guard during a ceremony held in city hall here, Aug. 19, 2010.
The governor was joined at the ceremony hosted by Salem Mayor Kimberley Driscoll by numerous state and local officials, veterans groups and members of the Massachusetts National Guard.
“For a community that has so much history, we didn’t think it was possible to add to it,“ said Driscoll. “But certainly it was, by having Salem recognized as the birthplace of the National Guard.”
Driscoll said having the city officially acknowledged as the birthplace of the National Guard is very special, particularly now when the Guard is playing such a large role in defending our country.
The origins of the National Guard, and the United States Army in its earliest form, are traced back the creation of the North, South and East Regiments which were formed by legislative act of the Massachusetts Bay General Court on December 13, 1636. This date is recognized as the birthday of the National Guard.
Members of the East Regiment held their first muster on Salem Common in April 1637, which began the foundation for what would become the Army National Guard. The four oldest units in the United States Army serve in the Massachusetts National Guard today and units traces its regimental lineage to the Salem Militia: the 181st Infantry; the 182nd Cavalry Regiment; the
101st Field Artillery Regiment; and the 101st Engineer Battalion.
U.S. Congressmen John Tierney was among the officials in attendance and said he was impressed with how well the Guard has dealt with the burden of frequent service, locally and overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“We are very proud,” said Tierney. “The National Guard does so much for this country.” 
Tierney’s sentiments were echoed by Maj. Gen. Joseph C. Carter, The Adjutant General, Massachusetts National Guard.
“We are the Nation’s First, The Massachusetts National Guard,” said Carter.  “It is an honor as well as one of the mightiest privileges to participate in this momentous occasion recognizing this wonderful city, where it all began.”
Carter said the Massachusetts National Guard’s long and proud history began in Salem and continues as they serve their neighbors here in Massachusetts and their fellow Americans both throughout our great nation and overseas.
Carter said this day commemorates that spring day in 1637 when citizen soldiers mustered on Salem Common in defense of their community.
“Citizen Soldiers, who some 138 years later, would be among the first to muster on Lexington and Concord to defend the beginning of our republic,” said Carter.
“It is an honor for all of us to have Salem as our official home recognized by the Commonwealth, said Carter.
Among the numerous veterans attending was Command Sgt. Maj. Kim Emerling, Military Intelligence Command, U.S. Army Reserve.
Emerling said he felt this was really the home of the U.S. Army as well.
Patrick spoke briefly about the rich history of the National Guard and acknowledged today’s Massachusetts National Guard for their service, sacrifice and clarity of mission and made special note of the more than 1000 members currently serving overseas.
“It is a privilege to be here to acknowledge the origins of the National Guard,” said Patrick. It was also a privilege to acknowledge what the first militia mustered for civic ideals that have been defined as opportunity, equality and fair play, said Patrick.
The governor said that he was humbled to sign a bill that calls attention to the origins of a commitment to those ideals.
“Massachusetts is the birthplace of our Nation and it is only fitting that an institution designed to protect our Commonwealth and our country, be rooted here as well,” said Patrick.
With the conclusion of remarks the crowd gathered close around the governor as, at 2:17p.m., he signed bill HB1145 into law and the  National Guard received its official birthplace.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Split Second Shutter

A rifleman with Company B, 1st Battalion, 182nd Infantry Regiment, lays down suppressive fire to cover the movements of his fire team during individual movement techniques course during an eXportable Combat Training Capability exercise at Camp Edwards, June 11, 2010

Here is a photo I took while on Annual Training with the 65th Press Camp Headquarters.
I was able to catch the muzzle flash while the soldier was running through a training lane with his unit.
The shot was one of 20 on continuous shutter to capture the the split second timing required to record the flash.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sheriff deputizes Mass Guard MPs

CAMP EDWARDS, Mass. – Brig. Gen. Thomas J. Sellars, commander of the Massachusetts Army National Guard and Barnstable County Sheriff James M. Cummings address members of the 972nd Military Police Company prior to the formal ceremony in which the Soldiers were Deputized June 8, 2010. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Don Veitch, 65th Press Camp Headquarters)

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Don Veitch, 65th Press Camp Headquarters
CAMP EDWARDS, Mass. — More than 60 military police from the Massachusetts National Guard were deputized in an official swearing-in ceremony conducted at the Joint Visitors Information Bureau here, June 8, 2010.
The Soldiers from the 972nd Military Police Company, based out of Reading, are conducting law enforcement operations here in support of the eXportable Combat Training Capability, or XCTC, exercise and were sworn in by Barnstable County Sheriff James M. Cummings.
Cummings said the MPs of the 972nd now have the authority to enforce any law that may result in a disturbance of the peace on Camp Edwards. This new authority is in addition to their normal military police functions.
The 972nd will put their newly deputized Soldiers on the roads to conduct traffic and range safety patrols during XCTC to provide additional safety for the large influx of civilian and military personnel working and training on the base.
XCTC is the largest pre-deployment training exercise conducted on Camp Edwards since World War II and consists of Soldiers training on a series of field exercises designed to simulate an overseas environment. The goal of this training is to provide high quality, realistic battlefield experience for approximately 2,000 Soldiers as they prepare for mobilization in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
With an increase of personnel, vehicle movement and high tempo training brought on with XCTC, the risk of accidents increases as does the need for increased law-enforcement patrolling.
The MPs have not actively worked on Camp Edwards in more than ten years. During the interim  the Massachusetts State Police and contract security have handled the responsibility of post security.
The 972nd began their mission on June 1 and will continue until the conclusion of the XTC exercise near the end of the month.
“Our mission is to ensure a safe training environment,” said Maj. Bryan K. Pillai, Camp Edwards provost marshal.
“This is a great opportunity to use our law enforcement training,” said Pillai. “These competencies are what we rely on while deployed to train Afghan and Iraqi police.”
Pvt. Brett M. Mohr, a military police Soldier with the 972nd said her duties here reiterate the importance of the job MPs are performing. Mohr, a South Boston native, added that the safety patrols are a good thing with the large numbers of people here for XCTC.
Pfc. Eddie Gomez, a 972nd MP from Clinton said the assignment was a great experience and he was proud to be providing security and safety for the Soldiers training on post.
“This Ceremony demonstrates a level of interagency cooperation that is unique to the Massachusetts National Guard,” said Brig. Gen. Thomas J. Sellars, commander of the Massachusetts Army National Guard.
“The Massachusetts Guard has along standing and mutually beneficial relationship with local officials and agencies,” said Lt. Col. Jack McKenna, public affairs officer, Massachusetts National Guard.
“We have a great relationship with all branches of the service,” said Cummings. “We’re thrilled to have them here.”

Monday, May 10, 2010

Quick sketch of LTC Brewster

Today’s sketch is a quick thumbnail of a potential caricature of my commanding officer.  Nothing to outrageous, but I’d like to make it a stylized portrait with a twinge of humor.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Mass. Guard photographers play key role in securing federal disaster relief funds

LITTLETON, Mass. - Industrial pumps transfer thousands of gallons of water per minute from spectacle pond to the opposite side of Route 119 here to alleviate flooding concerns while Massachusetts Department of Transportation employees work to repair damage from a collapsed culvert, April 8, 2010. Littleton emergency response officials borrowed several of the pumps from as far as Michigan and Pennsylvania to supplement the Massachusetts equipment on hand. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Don Veitch, 65th Press Camp Headquarters)

Story by Army Sgt. 1st Class Don Veitch, 65th Press Camp Headquarters
MILFORD, Mass. – Massachusetts National Guard photographers working with state and federal disaster response officials provided invaluable supporting documentation for the Commonwealth’s formal request for federal emergency funding during the recent flooding in Massachusetts.
Soldiers from the 65th Press Camp Headquarters, 1st Civil Support Team and the Joint Force Headquarters – Public Affairs Office accompanied representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency during preliminary damage assessment missions and provided photographic documentation of flood damage throughout the hardest hit communities in the Commonwealth.
The photos are intended be used to backup written assessments, said Bill Winn, a project specialist with FEMA. The photos could also be used for planning purposes during repair and mitigation projects, said Winn.
The Soldiers were among the more than 1200 Massachusetts National Guard Soldiers and Airmen called to state-active-duty to help combat the widespread flooding in eastern Massachusetts.
The public affairs Soldiers were assigned an initial task of publicizing the efforts of the units directly involved in the assistance effort. When the waters receded and the majority of Soldiers were deactivated their assignment changed to the preliminary damage assessment missions.
A Mass. Guard photographer accompanied each of the seven damage assessment teams from locations in Tewksbury and Framingham. The teams, led to the hardest hit areas by local emergency response officials, documented the flood damage with written assessments and photographs.
The Massachusetts National Guard also dispatched UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters to conduct aerial reconnaissance and collect damage assessment video as part of the documentation process.
“I have been all over the state surveying flood damage through a lens,” said Pvt. Errold Corbin, of Brockton, a broadcast journalist with the 65th PCH. “It really hits home when it’s going on in your own backyard.”
Corbin and Sgt. 1st Class Steven Tedeschi, of Hull, a public affairs noncommissioned officer with JFHQ-PA, provided the aerial video footage that was presented to President Barrack Obama during his visit to the MEMA headquarters in Framingham, April 1, 2010.
“Having my work viewed by the president on my first mission as a Guardsman really shows the magnitude of our military obligation,” said Corbin. “The reward is to see your work taken seriously by the public and the fellow Soldiers around you.”
“My role was to provide photo and video support for FEMA and MEMA,” said Tedeschi. “These agencies could then submit reports on the disaster stricken communities with a visual documentation of the damages. It gave me a new perspective on what these agencies do to help communities during a disaster and how important they are to our American way of life.”
The president declared Massachusetts a Federal Disaster Area at the request of State officials supported by documentation collected since the beginning of heavy rains, March 12, 2010.
“These Soldiers have, once again, proven the strength of the Massachusetts National Guard lies in the diversity of our units and their unique capabilities,” said Maj. Gen. Joseph C. Carter, The Adjutant General, Massachusetts National Guard. “Our ability to provide mission flexibility under very dynamic circumstances as well as readily available units to respond to the needs of the Commonwealth is possible, in large part, due to these strengths.”
The disaster declaration means individuals and business owners who sustained losses after March 12 as a result of the flooding can begin applying for assistance by contacting FEMA at 1-800-621-3362.
Analysis on damage estimates for a public damage declaration which will enable civic project compensation is expected to be ongoing.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Letter W

Watermelon is my favorite summertime snack. The letter W painted for my children’s bennefit. They’re learning their letters and this was the letter of the week.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Illustration Friday – Propagate

Glen wasn’t sure, but asking Rachel what propagate means would probably have been a good Idea. He did know he would need more cigars and was definitely going to  look into a bigger tank.