Posters and cards for the PA Army National Guard

Sam Galski, Standard-Speaker, Hazleton, Pa.
·3 min read

Apr. 11—U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright offered a small gesture of thanks to Pennsylvania Army National Guard service members Saturday in Hazleton in recognition of the sacrifices that service members made over the past two years.

Cartwright presented a box of thank-you cards, notes and posters that he collected through his "Gratitude for the Guard" campaign to members of Alpha Troop, 2-104 Cavalry Squadron at the armory on East Samuels Avenue in the Heights neighborhood Saturday afternoon.

Students from Scranton and parts of Wayne and Luzerne counties created cards and posters thanking and congratulating National Guard members for their service.

Cartwright said the gesture is a token of appreciation for men and women who have served during the most demanding period for the PA National Guard since World War II.

"The things they have done in the last one-and-a-half to two years have surpassed anything that they've done since World War II," Cartwright said. "What I'm doing compared to what effort they're putting in and what kind of sacrifices they're making and what they did for us in The Capitol, there's no way I can repay that."

He cited numerous deployments overseas and domestically, saying the National Guard has responded during COVID-19 relief efforts, in cyber security efforts, and during times of civil unrest.

The congressman acknowledged three service members who were on hand Saturday that were among 2,500 National Guard members from Pennsylvania who were deployed in response to insurrection in Washington D.C. earlier this year.

"Fully 10% of the National Guardsmen who were down in Washington for the insurrection on Jan. 6 were Pennsylvania National Guard," the congressman said. "They stayed a long time and put up with a lot of hardship. The thing to remember, they have a day job ... they lay down everything every time they get called."

He presented more than 200 cards and posters from local students throughout his "Gratitude for the Guard" drive.

Captain Matthew Gotzy, troop commander, Alpha Troop, 2-104 Cavalry Squadron; Master Sergeant Charles Colarusso, operations sergeant major, 2-104 Cavalry Squadron, and Staff Sergeant Robert Lower, training noncommissioned officer, Alpha Troop, 2-104, Cavalry Squadron, expressed their gratitude for the show of support.

"I'd certainly like to thank the congressman for coming out," Gotzy said. "It's nice to know our civilian leadership is recognizing some of the things we do. We thank all of the students and we accept their congratulations and thank-yous. These small little mementos will go very far with the soldiers here at Alpha Troop."

Gotzy, who served in the National Guard since October 2009, said his squadron was "all too happy" to answer the call and serve his country.

"It's a unique time," he said. "I never thought I'd be in my nation's capitol. Pennsylvania called and we were were only too happy to do that. People in Washington were happy we were there. They were very thankful we were there. I know the citizens of Pennsylvania back at home were happy that we were down there as well. It's nice to see."

Hazleton Mayor Jeff Cusat was on hand for the card and poster presentation.

"We're lucky to have a National Guard unit like that in Hazleton," Cusat said.

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