A departure ceremony for the 126th Medical Evacuation Unit of the National Guard will be held on Wednesday at the Quonset Air National Guard Base in North Kingstown. Rhode Island National Guard Public Affairs Specialist Megan Burmeister says the ceremony is occurring before the unit is deployed in Kuwait.
"They're a Rhode Island unit and they're going to be deployed as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. They'll be deployed as part of a medical evacuation asset for Army Central in Kuwait."
“Operation Holiday Cheer” was officially launched Wednesday. The Lt. Governor’s Office, Rhode Island National Guard and several organizations and businesses are teaming up to send care packages to Rhode Island guardsmen overseas during the holidays.
Capt. Michael Calcagni got a care package last year. He said it makes difference when you’re away from family during the holidays. “However when you’re away one thing that is always uplifting, no matter what time of year, is mail call,” said Calcagni. “And when you can’t be home and mail brings home to you, it’s even better.”
The Rhode Island National Guard said it has had to cancel its participation in all of the Columbus Day events. That includes the Columbus Day parade on Federal Hill.
Spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Parente said there are 15 events on the calendar for next month, including some for Veteran’s Day. He said if the partial federal shutdown stretches into Veterans Day, the National Guard will do what it can to have a presence.