For 11-year-old Quderis Odom, a visit from the Massachusetts National Guard meant an opportunity to ask a very important question.
“Can you bring my daddy home from Afghanistan?” Odom asked Major General Joseph C. Carter during the soldiers’ visit to the United South End Settlements’ Camp Hale.
Odom’s father, Jerry Santana, was deployed to Afghanistan with the Massachusetts National Guard’s Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 182nd Infantry Regiment in April of 2011. General Carter promised to make direct contact with the boy’s father and send him a photo of Odom with the Generals.
Tuesday’s visit marked the fourth straight year that Boston youth staying at USES’s Camp Hale have been able to talk to generals and soldiers from the National Guard. For many of the 65 campers, the visit was an exciting opportunity to ask questions of men and women who serve.
Thirteen-year-old Masai Waddy-Lewis, who lives in Newark, New Jersey during the school year and spends summers with his godmother in the South End, asked Carter for his “top three tips for success in life.”
“Be honest and truthful, commit to a strong work ethic, and be selfless by serving others,” said Carter, who grew up in the Dorchester neighborhood opposite Franklin Field.
As part of the visit, each camper was able to touch and see the inside of the Blackhawk helicopter used by the soldiers to reach the 111-year-old camp on Squam Lake in Center Sandwich, New Hampshire.
(Reprinted Courtesy of The South End Patch)