New Jersey Army National Guard unit deploys to Florida


“You Call, We Haul.”

That’s the motto of the the New Jersey Army National Guard’s 253rd Transportation Company of Cape May. They are responsible for operating various types of machinery and vehicles, moving cargo, and scheduling and coordinating supply vehicles and convoys.


The unit, deployed numerous times for overseas and domestic duty, including Iraq and Superstorm Sandy, departed the Cape May Armory Friday en route to Florida, where Hurricane Irma is expected to strike this weekend.

More than 100 members and 40 of its heavy trucks convoyed down Interstate 95.

“We have a number of Soldiers experienced with this kind of operation. It may have been why we got the call,” Capt. Samuel Waltzer, the company’s commander, said in a release as the unit readied its trucks in preparation for the 1,000 mile journey. “We are honored to help our friends and neighbors in Florida.”

Waltzer says it’s uncertain how long the unit, which received orders for at least a 14 day stay, would remain in Florida.

“How long we stay is more up to Irma than it is up to us,” he said.

Spc. Jose Getty says he’s going to miss his infant son, Daniel, and his fiancĂ©, Augustie Smith. He’s set to get married at the end of the month.

“I’ll just keep my fingers crossed that he’s back in time,” Smith said.