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Activated Chemical Troops get visit from top state leaders 
Senator Scott Brown lends a hand 

U.S. Senator Scott Brown pulls a filled sand bag from an automated sandbagging machine Mar. 30 at the Lexington Department of Transportation site while visiting troops from the 272nd Chemical Company, Massachusetts Army National Guard Soldiers supporting Operation Rising Water. Massachusetts Guard members from across the Commonwealth have been activated in an emergency response to flooding occurring all over the state. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jerome Bishop)

Gov. Deval Patrick meets with Massachusetts National Guard members

LEXINGTON, Mass. – Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick (second from right) and Secretary Mary Elizabeth Heffernan, Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, meet with Soldiers from the 272nd Chemical Company, Massachusetts Army National Guard, at the Lexington Department of Transportation during a visit to the site Mar. 30, 2010. Soldiers from the 272nd were activated, along with other Massachusetts Guard members in support of Operation Rising Water, the commonwealth's response to the continuing flood emergency. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jerome Bishop)

By Spc. Nicholas Michaud, 65th Public Affairs Operations Center 

LEXINGTON, Mass. — Soldiers of the 272nd Chemical Company of the Massachusetts Army National Guard, who were tasked with filling sandbags in support of Operation Rising Water, were surprised with visits from top Massachusetts officials, March 30, 2010. 

Governor Deval Patrick and Senator Scott Brown, who were on site at the Lexington Department of Transportation to receive briefings on the operation, also checked on the Soldiers well-being and offered words of support. Upon arrival Patrick was briefed by the commander of the 79th Troop Command, Lt. Col. Paul Landry.

Following the briefing Patrick inspected the sandbagging operations and provided a briefing to the media.

“As usual, the National Guard has stepped right up,” said Patrick, as he spoke to members of the media, “and been total professionals from the beginning.”

Throughout his visit Patrick walked among the troops and offered his thanks to the Soldiers.

The members of the National Guard are doing a fabulous job, said Patrick in an interview he provided to members of the 65th Public Affairs Headquarters.

“I want to make sure everyone is adequately supplied and getting the food and rest they need.” said Patrick during the interview.

Brown, recently elected to the U.S. Senate from Massachusetts, stopped by to offer his support to the troops. Brown, also a Lt. Col. in the Massachusetts National Guard, lent a hand in the production of the sandbags by personally stepping in and making a few.

“When I was younger we used to make them by hand and now they have the machine from Range Control at up at Edwards,” said Brown.

As a morale booster Brown provided coffee and donuts to the tired Troops. Before, during and after his briefing with the media Brown took the time to personally thank every member of the Massachusetts National Guard working at the Lexington DOT site.