Answering the Call (continued)
Hundreds of AFSCME members across America are or have been on active military duty in Iraq and Afghanistan — or here in the United States. They are the full-or part-time soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen/women in the Reserves or National Guard, and we are adding their names to the AFSCME "honor roll" we inaugurated in the July/August 2003 issue of Public Employee.
AFSCME is proud of the men and women from our ranks who are serving their country. One of these servicemen is Master Sgt. John Nicotra of the Air National Guard's 177th Fighter Wing. In civilian life, Nicotra works in computer operations for the New York City Human Resources Administration. He is also a shop steward for Local 2627 (DC 37).
As reported by Jane LaTour in DC 37's Public Employee Press, Nicotra was called to active duty in Operation Iraqi Freedom on Feb. 20, 2003. His unit joined the 447th Air Expeditionary Unit, made up of Air National Guard and active-duty troops. Though he is a Vietnam-era vet, Nicotra's first experience in a combat zone was in Iraq — at the age of 56.
His job: to help support the Army's combat soldiers in the field by setting up bases, hauling supplies, feeding troops — the kind of behind-the-scenes work that is critical to the success of a military mission. He also has supervised the dining room and directed recreation services in two locations — including setting up film showings, card tournaments and even communications links to the states.
After returning home recently, Nicotra recalled the troops he served. They were very young, he said. "I'd see them in the dining room and put my kids' faces on them." Here are names of other AFSCME members who, at last report, have been serving their country.
IN MEMORIAMBill Normandy, 42, a custodian/bus driver
for the Barre Town School District in
Vermont, and a member of Local 1369
(Council 93), died of a heart attack while
training with members of his state's Army
National Guard unit on March 14 in Kuwait.
He was called to duty in January. Normandy
is survived by three young children.
Ohio Civil Service Employees
Emil Toney II