Guard unit cooked chili to supprt thier own members' families

October 21, 2006|by SSG Amy Fasulo

To the editor:

Charles Miller's recent letter to the editor hit rather close to home. I have been a recruiter for the Maryland Army National Guard for nearly five out of the 12 years that I have been in the military.

Members of the Army National Guard are often referred to as "Citizen-Soldiers." We serve stateside and worldwide. We are citizens who live and work in the community and we are soldiers who, in times of need, protect and assist that same community in which we call home.

In keeping with that theme, the soldiers of HHC 729th BSB and I participate in a lot of community events. We do this because we love what we do and to educate the public about the Army National Guard.


Just to set the record straight on Mr. Miller's concern over wasting tax-dollars to compete in the Hagerstown Suns Chili Cook-Off and Music Festival, there was no money wasted. HHC 729th BSB owns the containerized kitchen and all of the ingredients used to make our chili were purchased, with our own money, by another team member and I.

The Containerized Kitchen not only allowed the spectators to get an up-close look at real military equipment, but it also gave the soldiers an opportunity to train with the equipment and focus on teamwork - a vital element to those who serve in the military.

We have helped the Hagerstown Suns with this event every year since it began three years ago. We have also participated in events with the Community Free Clinic, Relay For Life and the Alsatia Mummers Parade. Hence, Citizen-Soldiers.

The money won for Best Overall Chili will be going to the 729th BSB Family Support Group. This will go toward funding our Christmas Dinner and other unit functions. Most importantly, this money will be used to send care packages to our soldiers who are currently deployed.

Taxpayers' money was not wasted by our participation in the Chili Cook-Off. If anything, the soldiers of the Maryland Army National Guard were recognized and the military as a whole got some good publicity for a change.

SSG Amy Fasulo
HHC 729th BSBRecruiting and Retention NCO

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