204th Engineers honored for their response to flooding in Catskills, Adirondacks and Binghamton area
Leaders of the 204th Engineer Battalion accept the Salute Magazine Unit of the Year cup from Salute Magazine representative Johnny Underwood. The soldiers are, from left: Capt. Thomas Rome, battalion assistant operations officer; Lt. Col James Freehart the Battalion Commander; Maj. Erik Stevens, battalion executive officer; and Sgt. 1st Class Christophere Hatala, Forward Support Company readiness sergeant. The cup was donated by Geico Insurance.

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. - Binghamton's 204th Engineer Battalion was recognized as the Unit of the Year for 2011 by Salute Magazine, a military interest publication produced six times a year by Garden City, N.J., company Family Media.

Since 1985 Salute has been distributed free on military bases and installations. The magazine focuses on music, sports, travel and dating for military singles and families.

The magazine also features a Unit of the Month feature in which outstanding military units are recognized for their service at home and abroad.

The New York Army National Guard's 204th Engineer Battalion, which includes the 1156th Engineer Company in Kingston, the 152nd Engineer Company in Buffalo, the 827th Engineer Company in Horseheads and Walton and Headquarters and Headquarters Company and the Forward Support Company in Binghamton, was named Unit of the Month in the October/November issue. The magazine recognized the work the battalion's soldiers did in responding to the flooding in the Catskills, the Adirondacks and in Binghamton when Tropical Storms Irene and Lee hit New York in August and September 2011.

In the article announcing the selection of the 204th Engineers the magazine pointed out that the 1156th Engineer Company rescued citizens in the Catskill Mountain village Windham from rising flood waters, while the 827th Engineer Company cleared creeks that threatened to flood local roads. Other battalion members cleared Route 73 in the Adirondacks to reopen the Keene Valley's access to the rest of the state and then more than 300 members of the battalion responded when Binghamton was flooded.

The unit's outstanding service led to its selection as Salute Magazine Unit of the Year.

"A number of the soldiers were impacted by the flood, but none wished to stop the important job they were doing and most had to be told to go home to take care of their affairs," said Lt. Col. James Freehart, the battalion's commander.

Page last updated Wed May 30th, 2012 at 00:00