So after I wrote this blog post Sunday night about the ridiculous uproar over the state Army National Guard buying cleaning supplies at the Home Depot store in Queensbury to take downstate, I heard today from someone with the guard who explained what happened, and why.
While some of the Facebook critics who attacked "Cuomo" for taking local supplies to help residents of another part of the state, the Queensbury-based guard unit was tasked by their fellow service members at Camp Smith in Peekskill to help get supply cleaning products for the coronavirus "containment zone" set up in New Rochelle, Westchester County.
The products were loaded into one single pickup truck and amounted to $3,000 worth of towels, cleaning products and mops that were to be taken south. Not eight pickup trucks as one purported Facebook witness said, or three as another claimed.
"Those soldiers didn’t mean to cause any concern," the soldier, who asked for anonymity, as he is not authorized to speak publicly about guard activities. "A lot of us have been activated to help out with this virus. We aren’t out to take necessities from the people in our area, that Home Depot is simply the closest one to our armory. At a time when mass hysteria and false information are prevalent, it’s refreshing to see someone try to curb that misinformation. People are going to see a lot more troop movement in the next few weeks and the last thing any of us want to deal with while we’re working is to have someone see us and think we’re out to enforce martial law."
Don Lehman covers police and court matters, Warren County government and the outdoors. He can be reached at 518-742-3224 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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