News and commentary by a National Guardsman

Soldiers, Airmen go on Guard at mass-transit systems — August 8, 2005

Soldiers, Airmen go on Guard at mass-transit systems

By Staff Sgt. Mike R. Smith, Guard Times Staff

MANHATTAN – Several armed Soldiers stand outside a street entrance to Pennsylvania Station August 4 amidst the daily hustle and bustle. Positioned in an out-of-the-way area, they are mostly left alone. But from Penn Station’s seemingly endless flow of travelers, an occasional passerby emerges to say “thank you.”

“You guys are doing a great job,” one woman proclaims as she passes them.

“Thank you, ma’am,” they reply, in unison.

In the weeks following the deadly London transit system bombings and a failed repeat of those bombings there, a “surge force” of New York National Guard Soldiers and Airmen were on watch at various mass transit stations across the State, including New York City’s vast metropolitan area.

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Minekill community scores with GuardHELP — July 30, 2005

Minekill community scores with GuardHELP

By Staff Sgt. Mike R. Smith, Guard Times Staff

MINEKILL STATE PARK, Blenheim, N.Y. – On a hillside overlooking New York’s Schoharie Valley, olive-colored Army construction equipment groaned amidst brown wafts of dusty afternoon air as engineers leveled several piles of dark dirt. They worked steadily and with purpose. If bags of awaiting grass seed took root before the first frost, valley residents would have a new soccer field to play on in the coming year.

Soldiers from the 204th Engineer Battalion, New York Army National Guard, placed the finishing touches on a GuardHELP project July 29 for Minekill State Park and its surrounding community.

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Small Town Comforts Wounded Soldiers — February 3, 2005

Small Town Comforts Wounded Soldiers

By Staff Sgt. Mike R. Smith, Guard Times Staff

ALPLAUS, N.Y. —Take a small-town firehouse, add colored thread and fabric, pour in various amounts of love and caring, mix thoroughly with a strong sense of community and country and you have what might be the warmest recipe to comfort wounded Soldiers.

To recognize New York’s wounded Soldiers, the Ladies Auxiliary of the Alplaus Fire Company, Alplaus, crafted 26 lap-size quilts for the New York Army National Guard.

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