Local Soldiers Depart For Duty From New Kensington

NEW KENSINGTON (KDKA) — More local soldiers are headed to Afghanistan.

The 307th Army Reserve in New Kensington stood at attention at the Clarion Hotel.

They are MPs, or military police. The next stop is Fort Bliss in Texas for additional training and then to Afghanistan.

Many of them have already served in Iraq.

“A different culture when we first got over there,” Sgt. Thomas Polino, an Iraq veteran, said. “Learning the language, learning their beliefs and trying to help them.”

With less than 24 hours until departure, there’s just enough time for one final hug. These men and women have support on the home front.

“My husband is a super dad – he’s amazing and we have a wonderful family that’s going to pitch in and help,” Grace Harvey, an Army specialist, said. “I’m very fortunate in that way.”

Lieutenant Brandy Toth is commander of the group, but she is also a loving mom.

“We have a strong family support group here,” Toth said. “It’s led by my mother, Theresa Toth.”

“We’re here to find those resources that they need, answer questions, be moral support, cry, laugh, whatever,” Theresa Toth with Family Readiness Group said.

  • Sarah Benton

    Thank you sooo much for this story/segment… my boyfriend is a part of that unit. I got to see him in the segment twice :)

  • Jennifer Piccini

    My son, Spc. Pearce, is deploying with this unit, we are sitting together now spending our last couple of hours together. It was nice to see some recognition for these dedicated men and women. It was especially nice to see him in formation during the aired segment. God Bless the 307th on their mission!

    • Virginia Steighner

      My heart goes out to everyone! I am also a mom to one of the soldiers being deployed. I have signed up to be a volunteer of the Family Readiness Group and if you’d like to stay in touch, please feel free to do so.

      • Karen Schachte Sistek

        My daughter’s boyfriend is in this unit…this is a first for both of them…. a very mature situation. We are all so proud, yet very worried…..I guess that is to be expected. Is the Family Readiness Group a support group?

  • Ray Hrabos

    I proudly served in this unit years ago and I with you all Godspeed! Stay safe and God Bless!

  • swin

    I too read the headline and wondered when the war with New Kensington had begun. Are we winning? Was this a declared war or did Obama start another illegal one of those wars that this country has been noted for since Korea? Perhaps New Kensington did not support Obamacare? I hope this war is over a lot sooner than the wars in the middle east.

  • swin

    Aha – KDKA just changed the headline – it originally read ‘Local Troops Leave For War In New Kensington’. Seems like everybody is saving money these days by downsizing – KDKA just got rid of their proof readers and figured they would just let their readers do the job for them.

  • Lisa R

    WHY are we still doing this ? Oh well that would take too long to explain. Oh wait the USA are being idiots.That was short and sweet. God blesss u all and let Him keep u all safe so u can come back to America..And God bless the Middle East.

  • courtney

    I don’t know what to say, to be honest i really didn’t pay too much attention to the war and the troops that are risking their lives over there until i met my boyfriend. And i have to say, i am ashamed of myself for that, now i see this situation with different eyes, and I’m very worried. All i can think about is the families of these soldiers and how much they might have been though, as well as how much i soon will. I want to say to all the military, wherever you are in the world, as well as veterans, thank you for all that you do, everyday. God bless you all and your families. And i love you Alex, come home to me soon.

  • Brian Reese

    MY Brother Michael Reese is apart of this Unit. He is 19 years old and this is his first deployment. They were supposed to leave at 5am this morning, however that go delayed til 8am because of the weather conditions in texas. At 8am it was delayed until 2pm. We finally just had our goodbyes and the 400 plus day wait til our heroes return, has just begun.

    God Bless all the true American Heroes, and God Bless their families…

  • Robin Porter

    Being a parent of one of these soldiers who just happens to be on his second tour, I would like to say Thank You to all those who serve and all those who give these proud men and women their support.

    • brian reese

      is you’re son shawn?

      • robin porter

        yes Shawn is my son! Very proud of him and my “adopted” son Dave Endlich

  • Leonie Widenhofer- Graham

    My grandson is one of the soldiers with the unit from New Kensington.
    God bless each and every one of you, come back to us and the good old USA safely.
    The farewell ceremony in New Ken was very touching, what a big difference from 40 years ago when our men went to Vietnam, no farewell and no homecoming. Thank God things have changed, our soldiers deserve honor and praise.

  • Virginia Steighner

    My son, Spc. Donald Steigher is deploying with this unit. You can see him and his son (in the Steeler jacket) on this video. We are very proud of each and every one of these soldiers. They will be in our daily prayers. God Bless the 307th on their mission!

    Take care and we love you!

  • robin porter

    brian, yes my son is shawn porter.

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