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Getting Under My Skin

“What do you think this is?” my husband asked me, pointing to his elbow. “That is your elbow,” I stated matter-of-factly. “No, these red spots,” he ...

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West Essex Regional Schools

West Essex Chapter of Unico National presented Athletic Awards to West Essex High School Seniors

NORTH CALDWELL, NJ - The West Essex Chapter of Unico National presented Athletic Awards to West Essex High School seniors Monica Onorata and Joe Egan, both from Fairfield.  West Essex High ...

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Y Works

West Essex YMCA Hosts Annual Splash Week Teaching Kids to be Safe Around Water

LIVINGSTON, NJ - Renewing its longstanding commitment to ending childhood drowning, the West Essex YMCA begins its annual weeklong “Splash Week” swim program on Monday. The YMCA’s ...

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Discount Travel News

Vacation in Hawaii Over Summer Holiday

World Pass International wishes TAPinto readers a very happy 4th of July! Today we are also excited to tell you about our special in Hawaii at the Wyndham Bali Hai Villas on the Island of ...

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Caldwell-West Caldwell School District In the News

Grover Cleveland Middle School Announces June Students of the Month

CALDWELL, NJ – Grover Cleveland Middle School in Caldwell, recently announced its Students of the Month for June. This month’s students are: sixth grader Phillip Krupp; ...

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CPA Q&A

Roy I. Levine

Roy I. Levine is a Certified Public Accountant in New Jersey and New York. Roy received his certification as a Chartered Global Management Accountant in 2012.  He brings more than forty ...

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Skillman Doors

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

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