104th Fighter Wing Hosts 200 Head Start Students for free back-to-school

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  • By 030912
During an event affectionately called "Guard Care," members of the 104th
Medical Group are scheduled to provide free back-to-school physicals to more
than 150 students enrolled in the local Head Start programs on Friday, Sept
7, 2012 here at Barnes Air National Guard base in Westfield; beginning at
8:00 a.m.

The children come from the local CAPCDC (Community Action Parent Child
Development Centers), formerly known as Head Start facilities, from
throughout the region, to include locations in Huntington, Russell, Agawam,
West Springfield and Westfield. These programs rely on 'Guard Care' to
ensure the students are ready to attend the school program. 'Guard Care,'
which is in its 17th year, annually provides a full back-to-school physical
to more than 150 children. The physical includes: height, weight, blood
pressure, hearing, vision and dental screening, all the requirements for the
students to enroll in the Community Action Parent Child Development program.
Many of the children who attend this program would not be able to afford
this required physical if it weren't provided, resulting in fewer children
being able to enroll in the Head Start program.

"We look forward to working with the community at every opportunity," said
Col. Robert T. Brooks, Jr., 104th Fighter Wing Commander. "This program
allows us to demonstrate the amazing capabilities of our people, as well as
provide a critical service to our neighbors. We are proud of our community
and the relationship we share; this is one of many ways we can give back."

The program this year is being organized by Senior Airman Charlie Diaz, of
Westfield, who serves as an immunization specialist at Barnes Air National
Guard Base. "The entire clinic looks forward all year long to working with
these children; it is such a privilege to give back to these families."


The media are welcome to cover this event in the base clinic located at
Barnes ANGB; the best times would be between at 9 am and 11 am. Please
coordinate with Public Affairs before arrival.

To learn more on the PCDC program visit