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Summer 2011 

Our Mission:
Supporting National Guard Families

Welcome Home 1/181st Infantry and God Speed to 1/182nd Infantry


Welcome Home 181 InfantryIn late July 2011, approximately 700 soldiers of the 1st Battalion 181st Infantry Regiment returned home from a one year deployment to Afghanistan.   


Guard Support provided Family Readiness Group Grants of up to $1,000 each to the five units in the 1/181st Infantry Battalion to fund their respective unit's family support groups. Many of these groups used a large portion of Guard Support's grant proceeds to help fund their Send-Off Ceremonies and Homecoming Celebrations. 


Welcome Home Hug

The 1/181st Infantry Regiment is the oldest combat regiment in the United States Army. In the past decade soldiers of the 1/181st Infantry have also served in Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo, Cuba and in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.


In March of this year approximately 800 soldiers of the 1st Battalion 182nd Infantry Regiment were deployed to relieve the 181st Infantry Regiment. Their mission was to also provide security for reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan. 


Since the 181st and 182nd Infantry Battalions were mobilized, Guard Support has provided direct assistance and support to hundreds of Guard families impacted by these deployments through innovative programs that provide fast and direct relief to soldiers and the families left behind during deployment.


Emergency Financial Relief Grants:  to help pay for urgent family bills, such as rent, utilities, child care, car insurance, car payments and emergency vehicle repairs. 


Transportation-on-leave Subsidies:  provided to soldiers during their leave from out-of-state training to return to Massachusetts so that they could visit their families before they deployed overseas without having to pay out-of-pocket for their travel expenses.


Family Readiness Group (FRG) Grants: we have awarded over $10,000 to unit FRGs within the 181st and 182nd battalions to provide funding for support groups that help families cope with the deployment of their loves ones. FRG grants are used for administrative expenses, send-off ceremonies, family events and welcome home celebrations.


To view photos, articles and videos from 181 Infantry unit homecomings, check out the links below:

Boys with Welcome Home signs 

HHC Co., Worcester:  read the Telegram and Gazette article, view photos, and watch video by WBZ News.


A Co., Agawam:  Soldier's Returning Home article and video by ABC News 40   


B Co., Gardner:  view photos, watch videos by WCVB TV Channel 5 Boston and Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise.


C Co., Cambridge:  watch video by DixiDawg


D Co., Hudson:  Find out why Delta Co. soldiers did not receive a Homecoming Celebration: Some Military Families in Hudson Want Bigger Homecoming for Mass. Soldiers 

Photos by: Candi Wolley of Erickson Photography (top left) and 
Guard Support (top right and bottom right)

Community Enagement
Highland Hitters: Taking the Guard and their families to the Ballgame


Red Sox Game Baronoski Family

Captain Frank Baronoski and family

The Highland Street Foundation awarded Guard Support with a "Highland Hitters" in-kind grant valued at over $5,000. This grant provided 30 National Guard families with 100 Red Sox tickets, concession vouchers valued at $25 for each ticket holder, t-shirts, baseball caps, wristbands, Red Sox books and other sports-themed keepsake items.

Guard Support worked closely with the Massachusetts

Marylou Gilman and grandson

Marylou Gilman and grandson

National Guard Family Program office to coordinate the allocation and distribution of the Red Sox tickets, concession vouchers and merchandise to soldiers who recently returned from deployment to Afghanistan and their families.  


Soldiers representing all five companies of the 181 Infantry Battalion and their families enjoyed a fun family day at Fenway Stadium watching the Red Sox play against the Oakland Athletics on Saturday, August 27,

Red Sox Game Barbara

Barbara & Noel Kelly

2011. (The game was originally scheduled to be played on Sunday, August 28, 2011, but the approach of Tropical Storm Irene resulted in the game being rescheduled).  


Kudos to The Highland Street Foundation for selecting Guard Support for the "Highland Hitters" grant. Our citizen-soldiers and their families had a great time cheering on the Red Sox thanks to your generosity.


 Photos by Jennifer Remillard and Kristi Pucillo 

General Presents Certificate of Appreciation for Patriotic Civilian Service
Award photo

Left to right: Michael Finer, Sherry Handel, Major General Joseph C. Carter, The Adjutant General of the Massachusetts National Guard, Victoria Sassine, Nathaniel Dalton, and John Kingston, III.


U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jerry Saslay,  

Massachusetts National Guard Public Affairs   

On May 20, 2011 at Camp Curtis Guild in Reading, Mass. Major General Joseph C. Carter, The Adjutant General of the Massachusetts National Guard presented the Board of Directors of Guard Support with a Certificate of Appreciation for Patriotic Civilian Service.


Guard Support was recognized by Major General Carter for offering outstanding assistance to members of the Massachusetts National Guard and their families before, during and after deployment.


General Carter commended Guard Support's vision and commitment to developing and implementing innovative programs that assist National Guard families including: Emergency Financial Relief Grants, Family Readiness Group Grants, Transportation-on-leave Subsidies, Internet Connections Overseas and the new Hire Guard program, founded to connect returning Guard service members with employment opportunities.

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In This Issue
Our Mission: Supporting National Guard Families
Highland Hitters: Taking Guard Families to the Ballgame
Patriotic Civilian Service Award
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Guard Support has helped thousands of National Guard Families through programs including:

Emergency Financial Relief Grants

To date we have disbursed over 260 grants for Emergency Financial Relief to National Guard families who often face financial difficulties as a result of overseas deployment.

Family Readiness Group (FRG) Grants

To date we have awarded 90 Family Readiness Group grants providing funding to unit family support groups that help families facing the deployment of their loves ones.