HOLLAND, Mass. - Seven Massachusetts Army National Guard Soldiers from Company A, 126th Brigade Support Battalion, were recognized for their actions and assistance to the town of Holland during operation Harvest snow this October and November at a ceremony at the town hall, here Dec. 3, 2011. The town was one of the most devastated towns by the snow storm particularly due to its layout size and being somewhat secluded.
Holland town Selectman and Town Emergency Management Director Michael Kennedy stated that when they ran out of personnel and needed more personnel in order to go out in the community and check on the welfare of each resident. The National Guard was there the same day.
The Guardsmen came into the town and conducted door-to-door welfare checks.
On the second day of their mission, Kennedy received a radio call from the Soldiers that they were at a house, a generator was running in the garage, there were two cars in garage and no one responding to calls or at the door. The fire department then was called and arrived at the location, they broke down the door, the carbon monoxide level was well over safe levels and the home was searched. Thankfully there was no one in the home at that time so a potential tragedy was adverted because of the Soldiers attention to detail and training.
National Guard Soldiers that same day, while checking homes, knocked at a door and heard faint sounds so they began to look in windows and found a man unresponsive and on the floor . A Holland Police officer then pushed an air conditioner through a window and went through it to help the man. The Fire department was called, ambulances arrived and the man was taken to the hospital.
Kennedy stated that if it wasn’t for the heroic act of the National Guardsmen that man would be dead today and “I can’t tell you how much I appreciate what you people did for this community It was stunning and that’s why we are here today, to show our appreciation for what you people do as a part time job, its remarkable.”
State Senator Steven Brewer and State Representative Todd Smola were there to express gratification on behalf of the commonwealth and the towns in their district especially Holland and they presented the Soldiers with citations for their service.
Smola mentioned that during natural disasters “When there were challenges for them on a daily basis whether it be public safety or providing security for people that were coming into those neighborhoods, it was the National Guard that was standing on every single street corner in the districts that we represent in order to maintain civility as well as provide a level of comfort and support for the people in our district”
“The support of the men and women of the national guard it certainly made a difference in the lives of those residents that had to struggle for an entire week in order to get their live back in line.
Even now Senator Brewer and Representative Smola mentioned that they are still getting e-mails and phone calls from people in the town of Holland complementing the National Guard on their efforts during the storm event, and “we can’t thank you enough for that sacrifice you made and that sacrifice they make every day.”
Maj. Nick Macsata on behalf of The Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Joseph C. Carter, stated that “Since 1636 your national guard has served this commonwealth, as ‘The Nation’s First’ we are proud to support our community’s and our nation, these Soldiers here embody that legacy, they in times of need leave their homes and family’s to support the grater community.