Your neighbors, Massachusetts National Guard
By Snior Master Sgt. Julie Avey, 104th Fighter Wing
/ Published April 07, 2020
BARNES AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mass. --
Airmen and Soldiers from the Massachusetts National Guard have a long history of supporting their communities throughout the state of Massachusetts. These Airmen and Soldiers work, live, and raise their children in the same communities they serve as a member of the Guard.
The National Guard trains and prepares to be called upon by their governor and president. They prepare and respond to natural disasters and to help in humanitarian efforts.
The 104FW last served on state active duty in 2018, where they helped the residents of Lawrence, Massachusetts, who were affected by a series of gas explosions and fires in their neighborhood and surrounding communities. Prior to assisting in Lawrence, the Massachusetts National Guard was called up for the severe weather conditions in 2015, to shovel snow off of roofs. Many of the wing’s members cleared trees and debris after a devastating ice storm in 2008 and after a rare tornado hit the state in 2011.
The Massachusetts National Guard was also called to state active duty in support of Massachusetts Emergency Management and Federal Emergency Management agencies during Hurricane Irene. The Massachusetts Guard has developed strong interagency partnerships and serves in support of the state of Massachusetts.
Massachusetts National Guard Airmen and Soldiers, when called upon, help their neighbors in any way possible. During the Lawrence response, the members of the 104th FW found themselves helping to carry in groceries, petting, or corralling pets as they came to the door and sharing stories. A couple of Airmen used their bilingual skills to translate and ensure the information was provided and transparent to the community residents.
“No one ever expects these devastating events to happen, but witnessing the teamwork and dedication that occurs in our community makes you feel a bit more relieved that at any point in time, someone has your back,” said Senior Airman Faith Patnode, 104th Fighter Wing, weapons mechanic.