Massachusetts National Guard Tribute for Helping Citizens During Boston Marathon Attack

Given the despicable bombings in Boston during last weeks Boston Marathon I thought it best to post an article that tributes the fine men and women of the Massachusetts National Guard.  Right after the explosion, I was not surprised to see Soldiers in ACUs rushing towards the impact area aiding their fellow citizens.  That moment made me extremely proud, not only as a fellow National Guardsman, but as an American.  Their actions reinforce the aspect of selfless duty and devoted service our community’s National Guard Soldiers provide and I believe that we all owe them a debt of gratitude.  Of course, the Massachusetts National Guard has been faithfully serving this country since…well, before it was even America!

As the Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth in 1620 and began to colonize, a young man, CPT Miles Standish, organized the citizens into a militia that eventually became the National Guard as we now know it. The state’s well-trained Minutemen fired that famous “shot heard round the world” that sparked the American Revolution. Massachusetts Soldiers have proudly fought in every single American war, including a decisive role in WWII’s Battle of the Bulge.

It is very well known that…Massachusetts Soldiers are a different breed.  The old “Yankee Doodles” (i.e. you can see their “Y-D” patches almost everywhere) are some of the toughest and highly motivated Soldiers I have seen in my experience working with them at various Army schools.  Coupled with their toughness is their unshakable sense of compassion and natural tendency to help others.  I actually remember a Boston Soldier postponing his return home to see his daughter upon graduating Air Assault school to drive me 1.5 hours to the airport.  When I remember this, I am not even the slightest surprised that these men and women were some of the first on the scene helping their fellow Bostonians.

These Soldiers deserve our gratitude and I think that while this tragedy has shocked our Nation, and the city of Boston, we are reminded why we must always thank the men and women in uniform.  Every single day we go about our lives and forget that we are able to do so because of them…and when things hit the fan, they are the first ones there to help.  My hats off to the Soldiers, EMT, Police and all those involved after the bombing.  My thoughts and prayers to the victims and may justice be served…

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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6 thoughts on “Massachusetts National Guard Tribute for Helping Citizens During Boston Marathon Attack”

  1. This is a great post. We often take these part-time soldiers for granted. It reminds me of a day just a few months ago here in Puerto Rico. We were traveling a busy highway when the traffic came to a sudden stop and we were rear-ended. Policemen flew by, but who stopped? Yes, a National Guard soldier who was on his way to an appointment. He stayed with us and helped us get the vehicles out of the danger zone. Yes, we owe Part time soldiers a great big thanks.

    Great post Justin.

  2. Amy Skalicky

    Justin, you are right. I appreciate law enforcement and first responders, but too often these groups are the focus, when our National Guard quietly steps up time after time, adding the value and expertise that only our Guardsmen can. Our soldiers are incredibly skilled, evidenced by the quick reaction, immediate security measures that were implemented, the investigative support they initiated, and the quality triage performed. These guys were running toward the blast area while everyone else was running away, with no regard for their own safety, concerned only for others. That’s courage and that’s self-less service, and that’s our National Guard.

    1. Once again, I am never ceased to be amazed at what the National Guard does. Job well done MAARNG!

  3. I agree, Chuck. I think that all too often people focus on the police and first responders, which don’t get me wrong, deserve our praise, but we neglect our part-time Soldiers who are there as well. I must say, the YD Mass. Guard Soldiers are some of the best I have ever come across. Or, as they might say, they got some wicked good men round them parts!

  4. Justin,

    I saw the same Soldiers rushing in to help right after the explosion went off and it really made me feel good to know that we have such great Soldiers in the ARNG. They did a great job helping out and really made a difference.


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