David Meagher of the Watertown Fire Department interview three firefighters who will be on leave from the Fire Department to serve in the military. He wrote about them for Local1347.com - the Watertown Firefighters Union website:
Everyone knows that firefighters are here to serve the community. Many of those who chose a life of public service to their community, started off by serving their country in one of the five branches of the military – and continue to do so.
Many firefighters both active and retired can proudly boast about their military service. Unbeknown to most of the public there are three Watertown firefighters who are being deployed this year.
We are very proud of all of them. We wish them a safe and speedy return.
Firefighter James Maloney
Firefighter James Maloney, started his career in the military as an enlisted man. Three years later he attended Officer Candidate School (OCS) and became an officer. James is currently a major in the U.S. Army and veteran of 18 years. He is serving out his third deployment (second overseas) at Camp Morehead just outside Kabul, Afghanistan.
James is attached to the 20th Special Forces Group and assigned as the Afghan National Army Special Operations Advisory Group's Engineer. He works as a mentor to an ANA Engineer Colonel and oversees construction in various ANA Special Forces and Commando Bases throughout the theater. He is scheduled to return sometime this summer.
Firefighter Sean Costigan
Firefighter Sean Costigan, the youngest of the three, deployed March 31 of this year and has spent almost a third of his life in the military. He calls himself a “68W” known in the Army as a “Combat Medic." Like James, this is his third mobilization, but his second trip overseas.
Staff Sergeant Costigan is the Non-commissioned Officer in Charge of Trauma (ER) section of his team. He is assigned to the 912 Forward Surgical Team. He describes it as essentially, “a highly mobile trauma team with Life/limb saving surgical capability." Sean is slated to be deployed for a year.
Firefighter Paul Bourque
Prior to becoming a firefighter Paul Bourque served with the U.S. Marines and was deployed to the Middle East in 1996. At that time he was a corporal assigned to the 11th MEU-SOC (Marine Expeditionary Unit – Special Operations Capable).
Paul’s current service with the military started in 2008 when he joined the U.S. Navy Reserve at the age of 37. The Navy allowed Paul to retain the rank that he left the Marines with years earlier an as Paul put it, “seemed to be a better selling point” with his wife.
Firefighter Bourque will be hanging up his turnout gear and putting on the uniform of GM2 - Second Class Petty Officer (E-5) Bourque, full time and deploying to the United Arab Emirates in August of 2011 and expects to return in the Fall of 2012. He is a member of Squadron 8, out or Newport, R.I., part of the Naval Expeditionary Coastal Command. Their role is harbor and port security on the water.
His unit is a "small boat” unit and his role as a gunner’s mate, is to ensure all weapons are operational and all members of the unit is trained. He is a small arms instructor, a line coach for crew served weapons and completed Security Reaction Force School.