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Monday, May 2, 2016

National Guard cleans lakefront while teaching new recruits

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Andrew Moore picks up some trash from around Heritage Lake Sunday morning. He and other Army National Guard recruits spent the morning picking trash up from the street around the lake. Banner Graphic/JOSH GARVEY
This Sunday a group of over 45 new Army National Guard recruits spent the morning picking up trash around the Heritage Lake area in Floyd Township.

The group was there as a part of Operation Guard the Environment, a program run by the National Guard across the country to help with environmental clean up.

"My group filled about eight bags up," said Staff Sergeant Doug Davies, who helped to organize the Heritage Lake clean up.

Most of the people doing the clean up were from Recruit Sustainment Detachment 9 out of Greencastle. Recruitment sustainment detachments take new soldiers before they go to basic training and help them make the transition into training.

The recruits were broken up into groups of around eight to 10 and given an area of the road around the lake to clean up.

There were also sergeants who take a mentor role with the recruits, talking with them as they worked, as well as some privates who were further along in their training.

"We try to switch in and out of sergeant mode and mentor mode," Davies said. "We want to prepare them, but still have fun with them."

"For a lot of these guys, this is their first time out of the circle of their family," he said.

As they worked, the recruits began joking with each other. Occasionally the more experienced officers would give them advice.

"The best thing you can learn here is how to hurry up and get there and then wait," said Josh Stark, a private second class, who recently took part in Advanced Individual Training. "That happens a lot."

When the day started the biggest worry for the trash pick up was a lack of trash. Mary Williams, the clean up coordinator at Heritage Lake said there had been a trash-collecting event at the lake the day before. The two-and-a-half hours spent looping the lake did produce some noticeable results though, as almost 20 trash bags were filled by the end of the event.

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