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Twenty-five soldiers from the New York National Guard’s 2nd Squadron, 101st Cavalry Regiment left Niagara Falls on Tuesday, April 14 to help respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City.
The Soldiers are slated to reinforce members of the Guard already on the ground in the city conducting missions that range from supporting COVID-19 test sites to distributing food packages to city residents.
Lt. Col. Bradley Frank, the commander of the squadron, told his troops he was proud of them and reminded them that they were representing all the members of the 101st Cavalry.
“They need us,” he emphasized.
In the last few days, the Soldiers focused on organizing teams, conducting final checks of bags and equipment, and making sure families at home were prepared for their absence. But along with the rest of the squadron, they have been getting ready since mid-March.
“Word got out that this was a potential thing,” said 1st Lt. Jessica Reed, a platoon leader with the squadron’s Bravo Troop. “We had our guys come in to armories to fill out paperwork and pack the essential things we knew they might need.”
In a convoy of vans and SUVs, Reed led the team to New York City. They’ve been assigned to help with food distribution in the Bronx.
Reed said the most important thing she has told her Soldiers is to: “Take pride in what you’re doing.”
“I have the utmost confidence in them,” Reed said.
New York National Guard members have helped package and distribute more than 1 million meals in New York City, and more than 59,000 in Westchester and Albany counties.
More than 3,500 members of the National Guard are supporting state and local agencies in New York’s statewide response to COVID-19.
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