Sexual Assault Prevention
Massachusetts National Guard Supports
121st Boston Marathon
Story by Sgt. Michael Broughey, 65th Press Camp Headquarters, Massachusetts National Guard
Photos by Staff Sgt. Steven Eaton, Staff Sgt. Evan Lane, and Sgt. Michael Broughey, 65th Press Camp HQ
BOSTON – More than 500 Soldiers and Airmen from the Massachusetts National Guard and 20 other states, continued the Patriots Day tradition of providing security along the 26.2-mile route from Hopkinton to Boylston Street during the 121st Boston Marathon here April 17.
An energetic start to the marathon included the singing of the National Anthem and an awe-inspiring flyover of two F-15 Eagle fighter aircraft from the 104th Fighter Wing out of Barnes Air National Guard Base. Within minutes of the ceremonies, the elite men and women of the handcycle and wheelchair categories took off to roaring cheers followed soon thereafter by thousands of runners from around the world.
Also announced at the starting line were two Army generals running the race, Lt. Gen. James C. McConville, the Deputy Chief of Staff G-1 Personnel of the United States Army, from Quincy, Mass., and Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Snow, commander of U.S. Army Recruiting Command.
The Soldiers and Airmen placed along the entire route assisted local and state police officers and other law enforcement agencies to ensure the runners had a clear path along the roads through the hills of Massachusetts.
One of the Soldiers providing security at the starting line, Spc. Justin Dufault of Palmer, Mass., and a military police officer with the 747th Military Police Company, said their increased presence comes at the request of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.
Dozens of other Soldiers and Airmen, selected by their units, also joined in the marathon by marching the 26.2 miles in service uniform alongside the runners.
Kids in the crowd lined up to give the marching Soldiers and Airmen a high five as they passed Fire Station 1 on Church Street in Newton.
Further down the marathon route in Brookline, Tech. Sgt. Mike Anderson of Haverhill, Mass., and a security forces officer with the 102nd Security Forces Squadron, said the problem in previous years of vehicles driving up to the marathon route trying to get around the city had been solved by the placement of heavy construction vehicles from local public works departments and tactical vehicles from local police departments.
Anderson also said the Soldiers and Airmen appreciate being part of the event as much as the people, “It’s great being out here in Brookline with the crowd.”
Joe Vinograd, a veteran and longtime resident of Brookline, spoke highly of the Soldiers and Airmen participating in the event, “They make a huge difference. This thing wouldn’t work without them, you know? The Marathon’s gotten so big, without the extra manpower it’d be impossible to get it done.”
Command Sergeant Major
Carlos Ramos Rivera
State Command Sergeant Major