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    Citizen-Soldier supports National Guard in his civilian capacity

    Citizen-Soldier supports National Guard in his civilian capacity

    Courtesy Photo | Pfc. David Mathews, a Soldier with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 717th...... read more read more

    CARLSBAD, N.M. - Pfc. David Mathews, a Soldier with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 717th Brigade Support Battalion, spent the duration of the New Mexico National Guard’s State Active Duty activation supporting Soldiers from his civilian capacity. The New Mexico National Guard was activated when a winter storm hit the southeastern section of the state Dec. 26. Soldiers conducted numerous missions to help locate and assist stranded motorists, provide transportation to and from medical care, and assist the state with clearing roadways.

    Mathews is employed with Chandler Aviation in Carlsbad, N.M., and performs duties as a refueler there. He said he was one of the only employees who could get to the airport due to the snow drifts covering most of the roadways. Mathews was able to continue to report to work each day in order to care for the aviation crews of New Mexico Army National Guard's Company C, 1st Battalion, 171st Aviation Regiment.

    “I was the only one of the guys who could get out in the snow because of my truck,” he said. “The runways were completely iced over; couldn’t use them. The only type of aircraft able to come in and out was helicopters.”

    Capt. Kevin Doo, the flight operations officer for New Mexico National Guard Army Aviation Support Facility, arrived with his fellow crew on Dec. 30, and said the pilots and crew chiefs they replaced had nothing but praise for Mathews.

    “When I landed, the aircrew lauded this volunteering Soldier who’s been critical to our MEDEVAC coverage,” he said. “We wouldn't have been able to sustain MEDEVAC operations here if this Soldier didn't come in to work on his own time. The airport has been closed for days; and Pfc. Mathews was supposed to be off. But he has come in to ensure we have access to jet fuel, a comfortable space, a place to secure our sensitive electronics, facilities, and the use of the company's courtesy vehicle. He's been staying all day with the aircrew to provide any assistance when needed.”

    Even though Mathews is not on state active duty with some of his fellow Soldiers, he is still providing a much-needed service to sustain the operation. The air medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) response is a critical aspect of the ongoing mission and must be ready to launch as soon as they are needed. Mathews said he is simply doing his part.

    “Still being able to help inspires me,” said Mathews. “One of the reasons why I enlisted was to help Soldiers and civilians.”

    Mathews has certainly earned the thanks and appreciation from the UH-60 Black Hawk crews.

    Doo said, “We appreciate his esprit de corps, shown through giving up his personal time for the past few days.”

    Throughout the past six days of National Guard response to the blizzard dubbed Goliath, there are dozens of behind-the-scenes heroes who quietly go about doing their job, performing their role, and see it simply as their duty. Without these critical individuals, the Soldiers and Airmen on the ground would not have food, fuel, and numerous other necessities. This is the true definition of selfless service and of being a Citizen-Soldier.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 12.31.2015
    Date Posted: 12.31.2015 17:02
    Story ID: 185544
    Location: CARLSBAD, NM, US 

    Web Views: 164
    Downloads: 3

    PUBLIC DOMAIN