WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – The Connecticut National Guard is helping both the Connecticut State Department of Education and Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security distribute masks to school districts throughout the state as many transition back to in-person or hybrid learning.
Airmen and Soldiers helped distribute approximately 100,000 masks to local school districts at the West Hartford Department of Public Works garage, which has served as a PPE distribution site for the state throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
A total of 600,000 adult-sized masks for grades 7-12 are being distributed between the five DEMHS regions Sept. 28 through Oct. 2. This is the first of two major mask shipments the state is receiving from the Federal Emergency Management Agency; the second shipment will contain child-sized masks.
Members of the Connecticut National Guard were thankful to support this mission.
“I have three kids that are in school now,” said Senior Airman Corey Brennan, 103rd Logistics Readiness Squadron air transportation specialist. “Knowing that they’ll be able to learn in a safe environment is important for me as a parent, and helping the state provide that safe environment for students and teachers is very rewarding to me and all the members helping this operation.”
Many of the Guard members helping to distribute the masks have been constantly engaged in domestic operations responses for over six months. They have helped distribute personal protective equipment to nursing homes and played a key role in delivering bottled water to towns without power following Tropical Storm Isaias.
“Going around the state and meeting people from different areas and different departments like Public Health and Emergency Management has been really fulfilling,” said Brennan. “There’s a sense of teamwork between us and the community. Everyone is trying to come together to do the best we can in whatever we’re tasked with.”