– Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 182nd Infantry Regiment, guarded the entrances of several stops along the Green and Red lines of Boston’s subway to provide security and ensure public safety under the authorization to activate 1,500 Massachusetts Soldiers and Airmen the day after the terrorist attack near the finish line of the Boston Marathon here April 16.
182nd Infantry Soldiers reportedly received an overwhelmingly positive response to their presence at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority stations even when asking to inspect the purses and backpacks of Boston visitors and residents as part of the National Guard’s support to the Boston Police Department.
Two of the Soldiers on duty at the Park Street station included Spc. Matthew Martin, a mortarman of Headquarters Company, 182nd Infantry from Medford, Mass., and Spc. Jason Manni, also of Headquarters Company, 182nd Infantry from Peabody Mass., agreed the public’s response was positive. “People were willing to have their bags checked and some even offered without being asked after seeing the person checked before them,” said Martin.
Spc. Bryan Tolley, an infantryman of Charlie Co., 182nd Infantry from Plymouth, Mass., while patrolling the Hynes Convention Center station noted that several people said thank you to him for his service. “One woman told me she didn’t feel safe using the ‘T’ until she saw us,” said Tolley.
Boston residents themselves reported how the National Guard’s presence reassured them. “It’s a scary time for all us. It’s great to have you guys out here,” said Abby Myette, who also recalled hearing the blasts from her home. “I heard it and felt it,” she said.
David Comstock, a Houston, Texas, native, who participated in his sixth Boston Marathon said, “The National Guard response is very much appreciated. It brings a sense of safety in a time of trouble.”
On the Boston Common, a man who called himself Gary, a lifelong resident of the Boston area recalled the previous day when he heard about the attack on the Boston Marathon and was worried about his adult-aged daughter, who he said would have spectated the event if she didn’t have to work that day. Gary said it was always good to see Soldiers and mused, “When was the last time Soldiers were assembled on the Boston Common?”
Gary was referring to the Massachusetts National Guard’s 1st Civil Support Team that set up a command tent in the Boston Common to coordinate the support efforts of the National Guard to Boston Police and Fire Departments.
Maj. Gen. L. Scott Rice, The Adjutant General of the Massachusetts National Guard, arrived at the 1st CST on the Boston Common, noting that the 1st CST is there to improvised explosive devices and not a continuing set of attacks. Rice also reflected his thoughts on the attack, “On the personal side of it your heart and soul goes out to all those people who were caught by this terrible circumstance so you have a tremendous amount of empathy. On the professional side, it’s great to see those Soldiers who were in there and didn’t run from this blast but ran to this blast to see what they could do to help.”