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Guard Support News
August/September 2010 Issue

Our Mission:
Supporting Deployed Soldiers, Airmen and Their Families
Mass. Guard's Largest Deployment Since World War II         
Guard Support is experiencing a dramatic increase in grant requests due to the largest deployment of Mass. National Guard in the Commonwealth's history. In August the 181st Infantry Battalion, comprised of over 650 soldiers was mobilized for overseas deployment. The battalion is currently training for their overseas mission at Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center in Indiana and is expected to deploy to Afghanistan in October.
Capt. Timothy P. Sawyer, HHC/1-181 commander, Mass. National Guard in Worcester, looks at a map of Afghanistan. (T&G Staff / DAN GOULD)
CPT Timothy Sawyer, Commander HHC 181 Worcester

Defense VIDS reports that "the 181st Infantry Battalion soldiers are providing a key security element to more than 10 different Provincial Reconstruction Teams spread out across Afghanistan. Their mission is to provide security and continue with the rebuilding and stabilization of Afghanistan infrastructure. This next generation of security forces and rebuilding-effort units are deploying while violence there is at an all time high, last month being the worst for U.S. forces since the war began in 2001, mostly from roadside bombs."

Since the 181st was mobilized, Guard Support has provided support to several Guard members and their families through Emergency Financial Relief grants, with a surge of applications expected throughout the one year deployment.

To date, Guard Support has awarded over $6,000 in Family Readiness Group (FRG) grants to five units within the 181st battalion to provide funding for family readiness groups that help families cope with the deployment of their loves ones. FRG grants are used for meeting expenses, postage, supplies, childrens' activities, family events and welcome home celebrations.

We need your help to provide Transportation-on-leave grants to Guard soldiers during their eight-day leave from October 5-12 so that they can travel from Camp Atterbury to Massachusetts to visit their families without having to pay out-of-pocket travel expenses.

Assignment Afghanistan WCVBIf you would like to help send a 181st soldier home during leave from Camp Atterbury, Indiana in October before he or she deploys to Afghanistan, please contact Sherry Handel at 617-848-8868, or donate online.

We also provided funding to support the 181 Infantry Battalion's Deployment Ceremony
that was held on August 1st at Foley Stadium in Worcester and was attended by The Adjutant General of the Massachusetts Army National Guard, Major General Joseph Carter, U.S. Senator Scott Brown, Governor Deval Patrick, and Lt. Governor Tim Murray.

The Commander of the 181 Infantry Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Couture had this to say about our support of the Deployment Ceremony:

 "It is an honor to lead the soldiers of the 1/181st Infantry Battalion and to experience
the outstanding effort Guard Support of Massachusetts put forward to support the soldiers and families in this challenging time. I truly appreciate the resources that Guard Support has made available for our Deployment Ceremony. As commander, support like this lessens my burden of trying to gather resources, and allows me to focus on the soldiers.Guard Support has supported us in the past and knowing the support continues is a great benefit for the families of the 181st."

To read other testimonials, click here

News stories about the 181 Infantry Battalion deployment:

Telegram & Gazette: Leaving Home Behind: Guardsmen Going to Afghanistan for a Year
The Boston Globe: Guardsmen Deploy in Historic Numbers
WBZ: 670 Massachusetts Soldiers Deploy Sunday for Afghanistan
NECN: Massachusetts Soldiers Prepare for Deployment
Defense VIDS: America's First Guard Unit Makes Largest Deployment Since WWII
WCVB: Assignment Afghanistan: Sean Kelly Reports from Camp Atterbury
Defense Industry Support
Lockheed Martin Awards Charitable Donation to Guard Support    
Lockheed Martin logo Lockheed Martin has awarded Guard Support of Massachusetts with a donation to support our Emergency Financial Relief program.

We are pleased to receive charitable funding support from Lockheed Martin. As Massachusetts Guard deployments are increasing to unprecedented levels, this donation comes at the time when we are experiencing a surge in Emergency Financial Relief grant requests. Thanks to Lockeed Martin's support we can extend relief to more Guard families who are experiencing unexpected financial distress as a result of deployment.

If you or your company is interested in providing Emergency Financial Relief to Guard members and their families, please contact Sherry Handel at 617-848-8868.
Director Accepts "Seven Seals Award" by the Department of Defense ESGR
Sherry Handel (right), Executive Director, Guard Support is pictured accepting the Mass. ESGR Seven Seals Award with John Pelose, Eastern Area Chairman of the Massachusetts Committee for ESGR (left). 
Nate Dalton accepts MA ESGR Award
The Massachusetts Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), an agency of the Department of Defense, awarded Guard Support with the "Seven Seals Award". Sherry Handel, Guard Support's Executive Director accepted the award at the Operation Total Warrior post-deployment event held at the Boston Marriott Quincy hotel on August 14, 2010.

The Seven Seals Award depicts the seals of the seven military services and is given at the discretion of the Chairman to recognize the efforts by a citizen, business, or organization whose supportive actions have benefited the Guard and Reserve Components in a significant manner. Recipients of this award have demonstrated outstanding support, commitment and extreme patriotism to the U.S. military.

Guard Support's founder, Nate Dalton accepted the ESGR "Massachusetts Committee Award" on May 15, 2010 at Hanscom Air Force Base.

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In This Issue
Largest Guard Deployment since WWII
Lockheed Martin Awards Charitable Donation
DOD ESGR Seven Seals Award
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