Answering the Call of Duty

September 23, 2011

Sometimes answering the call of duty means being deployed to Afghanistan; sometimes it means helping those who are.

Rob Skidmore, a Northampton Community College student, happened to be listening to the Rocky &Monroe Band of Brothers Club Sue show on WKRZ radio when he heard about the flooding and subsequent damage to the home of a couple who are serving in Afghanistan. Without hesitation, he called the show and volunteered the services of the NCC - Monroe Band of Brothers Club. Skidmore is president of the club, which was created for male and female students, faculty and staff, who have served or who are currently serving in the armed forces of the United States.

The veterans and their supporters mobilized a squad of 21 students to help clean-up the damage. At the home they met Bernadette, the mother of one of the deployed service members. She was thrilled to have the help. It was a big and messy job, too big for Bernadette to do alone.

A special moment happened when Rob Fischetti, club vice-president, and Brianne Shamburger, clubFlag presentationmember, folded a damaged American flag and presented it to Bernadette for her daughter. "It gave me such a feeling of satisfaction to be able to help in some way, but this moment was extremely memorable", Fischetti said. The club also purchased a new American flag to replace the old.

West End Rentals donated the use of a sump pump and generator for the students' use; Lowe's and Home Depot also provided cleaning supplies.

"Club members pulled this whole project together in four days," says Laura Shamburger, one of the club's advisors. "They're a great group and they deserve a lot of credit."

Rob Fischetti is adamant about not needing recognition but would like to commend current and former club members Andre Evans, Corinne Morris, Natahisa Clark, Elizabeth Clark, Suzanne Darwish, Josh Gabriel, Rob Skidmore, Matt Walters, Brianne Shamburger, Jameela Mathis, Patrick Nolan, Jr. Steven Santiago, Kacey Conaty, Amanda Pentzer, Pete Sims, Dashawn McKenzie, and Ryan Jones for their efforts. All the members deserve credit, Shamburger says, for giving up their Friday to help someone they didn't even know.

Monroe Band of Brothers has voted to adopt Bernadette and her family and see the completion of renovations right to the end.

October 6 is "National Student Day," an event to celebrate student service. Help the Band of Brothers from Monroe become among the top vote-getters in the national celebration. Vote here, and please share the link with others.