COLUMBUS, Ind. – Indiana National Guard parachute riggers with the 338th Quartermaster Company executed a unique mission making protective face masks for fellow members of the Guard.
Members of the six-man team typically don their uniforms to pack parachutes and jump out of aircraft during their required military duty. However, these Citizen-Soldiers set aside their parachutes and enthusiastically volunteered to participate in the COVID-19 response by collectively sewing approximately 200 face masks a day.
“This is a different goal and mission set, and definitely a unique one,” said Sgt. Mark Monson, parachute rigger with the 338th Quartermaster Company. “It is more of a civil duty.”
When the mission began, the Indiana National Guard unit reached out to fellow National Guard parachute riggers in Rhode Island and Utah who were also making masks. Their advice helped the Hoosier team begin production quickly and efficiently.
The opportunity to make a powerful, direct impact in their home state was why many Soldiers, like Spc. Alex Soliday, made the commitment to join the Indiana National Guard.
“This is a mission for our community, and I feel like that is really important,” said Soliday, parachute rigger with the 338th Quartermaster Company. “We are also civilians and live a civilian lifestyle. We understand that we need to help each other out.”