The Connecticut National Guard’s motto reads, “Since 1636, Always Ready. Always There." Serving community, state, and country at home and overseas, the Guard's Armory on South Quaker Lane responds whenever and wherever they're needed.
We recently met one of the families with the armory's Soldier and Family Readiness Group (SFRG). William Galpin is a Training NCO for the 143rd Military Police Company. His wife, Kyla, is a volunteer treasurer with the group. They just wrapped up their events for 2022 and were eager to share insights into the past year and what 2023 has in store.
“This was a ‘high-tempo’ training year. We added 7-15 training sessions, depending on the soldier, to meet our training requirements, much more than a normal year.” William explained. "We hosted a big holiday party in mid-December, and for the first time, the company had the chance to kick back, relax, and enjoy each other’s company without the pressures of training."
”The camaraderie was so heartwarming,” Kyla added. "In 2023, we want to find more ways to support these families. During Covid, resources like the SFRG fell by the wayside. The Guard is without the built-in camaraderie of active-duty soldier life. The Guard soldiers see one another a few times a month and for two weeks yearly. The isolating effects showed us just how important the services and programs we can provide are.”
Kyla knows first-hand how important the services are. In 2019, William was deployed to Guantanamo just three weeks after the birth of their son, Gatlin. Kyla while she has close family nearby to help her, many other service member spouses don't and rely on the SFRG resource.
"The potential is there to do so much more to help. My goal is to make sure that they know they have support. That’s the biggest thing, to support our service members who are out there.”
William added, ”I’ve had seven weather-related active-duty missions here in the past ten years, from shoveling snow off school roofs to digging out ambulances. That’s a level of care for the community that can go unnoticed. The community's recognition and appreciation help keep the members' interest high. It literally could be tonight that the phone call comes in, and the unit needs to activate. Any support from the community is always welcome.”
For more information on Connecticut's National Guard visit: Ct.ng.mil.