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West Essex Regional Schools

Knights Track and Field: Boys Win North 2, Group 2 State Sectional Championship

NORTH CALDWELL, NJ - The West Essex High School boys’ track and field team won the North 2, Group 2 State Sectional Championship by tying the host team, Bernards High School, and finishing ...

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Game On: College Admissions Playbook

College Benefits Research Group Quoted In Forbes

ROSELAND, NJ - Choosing the right college is an exciting moment for parents and students. But what's not exciting are the bills that come with their dream school. This is where the stress ...

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Y Works

YMCA to Host Fourth Annual Youth Appreciation Week Diversity Festival

LIVINGSTON, NJ - The West Essex YMCA is hosting a town-wide Diversity Festival, as a kick-off to this year’s Youth Appreciation Week festivities that begin on May 17 and end on May 25. The ...

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Discount Travel News

Golfers - 2 Bedroom Suite in California

This week World Pass International is featuring Resort Villas by Welk Resorts in Escondido California. Located on 450 acres just north of San Diego, California. Welk Resorts is a gorgeous ...

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Caldwell-West Caldwell School District In the News

Grover Cleveland Middle School Awarded Active Learning Classroom by Steelcase Education

CALDWELL, NJ - Steelcase Education has awarded a grant valued at more than $50,000 to Grover Cleveland Middle School in Caldwell for the installation of an active learning classroom through the ...

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CPA Q&A

Michael H. Karu, CPA/CFF/CGMA

Michael H. Karu, CPA/CFF/CGMA is a Certified Public Accountant of the State of New Jersey and received his Certification in Financial Forensics from the American Institute of CPAs in ...

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Featured Business Listing

New Listing North Caldwell

  • West Essex
  • Bedrooms: 6
  • Bathrooms: 5.5
  • Price: $1,400,000.00

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PFC Matthew O’Hern of West Caldwell Sends a Letter from Afghanistan

By PRIVATE FIRST CLASS MATTHEW O’HERN

November 23, 2012 at 6:43 AM

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN - At 3am EST,  The Alternative Press of West Essex received a very special letter from Private First Class Matthew O’Hern of West Caldwell.  Here it is in its entirety:

To the West Essex TAP:
I would love to share a little about what I do!
It is motivating to be reminded that people at home care, and motivation is key around here!

I am a military police soldier (31b) deployed to Kabul,  Afghanistan with the 508th Military Police Company out of Teaneck, NJ.  Unfortunately, due to security reasons,  I can’t put out my exact location.

We are on a 9 month  “boots on ground”  deployment.   This means that once we hit Afghanistan soil on September 4, 2012 at 14:52 we started our 9 month tour.   Overall,  the deployment is going well so far.   Some days are better than others.

I work a 12 hour shift,  seven days a week,  with no days off.   I usually work the night shift,  however sometimes I will rotate to the day.   It is often hard to stay in touch with home due to the 8.5 hour time difference and limited Wi-Fi.  

I work with a squad including nine other soldiers and three K-9’s - two of which are explosive dogs and one narcotic.   We use the K-9’s daily to do sweeps of routs we will use for a mission,  inspect high risk areas and for regular daily patrols outside the wire.

When my squad is not out on a mission,  we work at an Entry Control Point.   This is where we do a full body search and background check of any individual trying to get through our area of operation.  This would compare to a  “seatbelt check”  back in Caldwell.

I am also enrolled in full-time online college courses while over here.   I didn’t want the deployment to interrupt my education.   It is a lot of work and often leaves me with limited sleep but I know it will all pay off.   I have hopes of finding a local law enforcement job when I return to the states.   I also look forward to returning as a member of West Caldwell Fire Department and West Essex First Aid Squad.

As hard as it is to be away from family and friends back home,  I really do enjoy what I am doing over here.   It is a great experience and it feels great to say I am defending the best country out there!

I miss my younger brother Patrick.   He's 16 yrs. old and I look forward to returning back home with him.  I consider him more than my brother, but my best friend.

Again, thank you for your support!
Matthew O’Hern


PFC O’Hern
508th MP CSC PLT 1
USFOR-A NKC, Afghanistan
APO, AE 09356