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Short Rounds: Operation Scouting for Troops, Piscopo joins band, Haitian earthquake assistance, Newest CSMs

Thinking inside the box

Staff Sgt. Dominic Francesco, center, 177th Petroleum, Oils and Lubricants Technician and Cubmaster of Pack 254, Mays Landing, poses with Cub Scouts' Dawson Lerner, left, and Jonathan Rider in boxes that will hold supplies for deployed Airmen. Francesco and his pack ran a collection called "Operation Scouting for Troops". The idea was to get items that the deployed Airmen would need that were not readily available in theater. With heavy community support, more than 3,000 items were collected ranging from sunscreen, lotion, wipes and even Girl Scout cookies were collected. The boxes are being sent over thanks to Support Arms. Photo by Tracy Cain.

Seventeen days in Haiti: a Guardsman's journey to fulfillment
By Master Sgt. Donald Clarke, NJANG R&RC

The question struck me as I looked out the window as the plane descended into Port-au-Prince on March 25. It was simply: How can anyone on earth live like this?

I had come to Haiti with members of my congregation from Lifechurch in Allentown, Pa. Our destination was a Lifechurch orphanage in Croix-des-Bouquets, Santos 19, a community within Port-au-Prince.

Our mission on this 17 day visit was to help as many Haitians as possible as they struggled with the aftermath of the catastrophic earthquake that struck the island on Jan. 12.

We went to work right away, heading to a village where most of the 147 families were living under bed sheets and struggling to find shelter from the sun under scrawny trees.

I came across a young mother who had a baby boy who couldn't have been a few months old. When I asked to hold the baby, I noticed his entire back had been bitten by mosquitoes and it had started to scab over. My translator explained the boy slept on the ground with no protection from bugs

. We went out to look for supplies to build a makeshift home. We came back about an hour later with two-by-fours, and a shovel. We dug holes and placed the wood in the ground and then wrapped the tarps around the poles to create a bed.

Soon after, we met a boy no older than three who had been burned. With no medical attention, the burn had become infected. We promised the mother we would return to help the boy and went to find some supplies. My congregation member cleaned the burn and patched up the boy. We returned 10 days later and the burn was nearly healed.

The entire trip was filled with scenes like this. This type of help was needed everywhere I went, and not once did we turn anyone away. If we had it, it went to the people of Haiti.

I cried for most of the four hour flight home. I kept thinking how much more I could have done if I had only been able to stay a few more days. They were the most depressing – and fulfilling – 17 days of my life.

Article 15 gets new vocalist

Joe Piscopo, fourth from right, performed with the 63rd Army Band jazz group, Article 15, at the National Guard State Family Readiness Council banquet at the National Guard Armory in Lawrenceville on March 25. Appearing with Piscopo are, from left to right. bass guitarist Sgt. Steve Higgins, pianist Sgt. 1st Class Robert Bose, drummer Staff Sgt. Zachary Appleton, trombonist Sgt. John Day, on trumpet is Staff Sgt. Dexter Hendricks, baritone saxist 1st Sgt. Marc Winans, alto sax Sgt. Christopher Brown and on tenor sax is Staff Sgt. Ishwann Dixon. Photo by Tech. Sgt. Mark Olsen, NJDMAVA/PA.

The top 2 percent

For every 100 Soldiers that enlist, only two will ever go on to make it to Sergeant Major. So in recognition of the New Jersey Army National Guard's two most recent graduates of the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy, Sgt. Maj. Jonny Hannigan and Master Sgt. Alex Estrada, some of the Jersey Guard's senior leaders traveled to Fort Bliss, Texas, for their April 27 graduation. Pictured from left, they are; Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy Maskery, Brig. Gen. James Grant, Hannigan, Estrada, State Command Sgt. Maj. Jerome Jenkins, and Lt. Col. Edward Chrystal. Photo courtesy Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy Maskery.


Table of Contents
Volume 35 Number 1 Staff / Information
(c) 2010 NJ Department of Military and Veterans Affairs