Principal serves National Guard during storm

Bridget Protsman and lakecentralnews

During the Indiana declared state of emergency, Mr. Sean Begley, Freshman Center Principal, acted as both a member of the Lake Central School Corporation, as well as a Major for the National Guard. According to WGN News, Begley was one of more than 250 members of the National Guard called out to take part in missions in order to help keep people safe during the severe storm.

“Currently I am the battalion commander of the 113th Engineer Battalion. With a battalion, we have a battalion staff that is capable of resourcing personnel, intelligence, operations, logistics, and signal [and communication]. During this state active we were called up for a Defense Support to Civil Authorities mission. In this mission we were a Battalion Command and Control [C2] for the Northwest part of the state overseeing the National Guards efforts in

Indiana Homeland Security Districts [IHSD] 1, 2 and 4. This area covers Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Starke, Pulaski, St. Joseph, Marshall, Kosciusko, Newton, Jasper, Benton, White, Warren, Fountain, Tippecanoe, Cass, Carroll and Montgomery counties,” Mr. Begley said.

During this mission, Begley and his battalion acted as a support role to local civil authorities. In severe weather, emergency services become flooded with calls, which sometimes they cannot handle on their own. When these services have too many requests, the National Guard is called in to assist.

“It was really tough to travel in the weather. Even with our equipment, it took an average of four hours per mission. We are hoping to come off of orders tonight and get home to our families. The soldiers did a fantastic job. They were very professional, hard-working and they dropped what they were doing to come in on very short notice. I am very proud to be able to work with them,” Mr. Begley said.

Mr. Begley helped get stranded motorists from their vehicles to safety, took much-needed hospital employees from their snowed-in homes to hospitals, helped law enforcement officers who were stuck in the snow get out safely and provided help to people stranded at a rest stop on I-65. During one of these missions, Mr. Begley also helped deliver prescription heart medication to a child’s family.

“The only other thing that I would add, is that when I got called up on Sunday, my haircut was not to military regulation, [it was] very long and I would not have time to get it cut. So, I shaved it off in the bathroom sink. After the TV interview, I got a lot of “nice haircut” texts. I expect the same when I get back to school,” Begley said.

Mr. Begley, who has been sleeping in an armory since Sunday, is expected to come home tonight.