(Photo: Rusbashan, Amber)
POST FALLS, Idaho A group of nuns at St. Dominic s School and Convent near Post Falls, Idaho, are getting help Monday after dealing with harassment. Last week, KREM 2 found out about how the sisters have been getting harassed for years by teenagers and young adults. After our story aired, several parents at the school reached out and formed a neighborhood watch group. Even people from across the country contacted the nuns. One person in New York reached out to express concern about what was going on.
Before the neighborhood watch group was formed, the only security the nuns had at St. Dominic s were cameras. Now, they are getting a helping hand from the community. The new watch group is made up of 18 men, some of whom are not associated with the school at all. Every night, at least two volunteers will be at the gates keeping an eye out for any of the trespassing teenagers who verbally assault the nuns.
“Have they nothing better to do with their lives?” asked volunteer Michael Powers. Last week, a group walked around the convent grounds, cussing and banging window shutters as nuns slept inside.
A car pulled in, and someone pulled his out of the passenger side and started shouting obscenities at me. Really vulgar things, said Sister Marie Stella.
Powers added, “It’s alarming because you’ve got young girls and women who reside here.”
After that incident and KREM 2 s story, the sisters at St. Dominic s now have their own guardian angels so to speak. The watch group wanted to let the teenagers know that they do not want any trouble, they just want them to stay home and leave the nuns and the convent alone.
“I would say: just stay away. Just go find something useful with your life to do,” said Powers. Another member of the watch group said they hope to hire a full-time security guard in the future.
Local nuns complain of ongoing harassment
A Modesto man was sentenced in federal court on Monday for assaulting a security guard in downtown Fresno, said U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert. Matthew Faron Blair, 33, was sentenced to eight years and nine months in prison. Court documents say he assaulted the guard on Oct. 14, 2014 during a visit to the Social Security Administration office. After workers told Blaire his benefits had stopped but could be renewed with paperwork, he became agitated, according to court documents. As Blair was being escorted out of the office by a security guard, he physically assaulted the guard, causing head and mouth injuries that required medical treatment.
Gov. Chris Sununu talks with Master Sgt. T.J. Hackett, left, and his son, Senior Airman Travis Hackett, as the two prepare to deploy to the Middle East next month. (Courtesy of Staff Sgt. Curtis Lenz)
An airman with the New Hampshire Air National Guard’s 157th Security Forces Squadron listens during a ceremony Sunday to honor him and 28 other airmen who will deploy to the Middle East next month. (Jason Schreiber)
NEWINGTON Master Sgt. T.J. Hackett of Durham hopes he has a chance to catch up with his son when both are deployed to the Middle East next month.
The 55-year-old Hackett is with the New Hampshire Air National Guard s 157th Security Forces Squadron; his son, Travis, 22, is deployed to the region as a senior airman with the 91st Missile Security Forces Squadron from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota. The father and son were together Sunday for a ceremony recognizing the 29 airmen from the 157th Security Forces Squadron based at Pease Air National Guard Base as they prepare for the upcoming deployment, which will involve providing security at six air bases throughout the region. The younger Hackett said he learned that he would be heading out on a six-month deployment about two weeks after his dad found out that he would be deployed on the same day for the same length of time.
We ll probably see each other in transit when we re flying to whichever location he s going to or I m going to, Travis said.
The dual deployments won t be easy for Christine Hackett, a teacher at Oyster River Middle School who will be thinking of her husband and only child every day and hoping for their safe return.
I know that both of them have wanted to go. I know that it s something that they re very passionate about. I m very proud of them, but at the same time I think it s going to be a long six months, she said.
She s as much of a warrior as we are, said T. J. Hackett, a retired New Hampshire State Police trooper. The sacrifice made by the military families left at home was mentioned by several who spoke at Sunday s ceremony, including military leaders and Gov. Chris Sununu, U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Congressman Annie Kuster. The ceremony also celebrated the 281 airmen from the 157th Air Refueling Wing who have deployed this year.
When you think about it, most families in America are waking up and figuring out, Are we going to go to the lake? Are we going to go to the ocean? Are we going to have a barbecue today? Not many of them are saying goodbye to a loved one to go to war, said Major Gen. William Reddel III, adjutant general of the New Hampshire National Guard.
Reddel said it was important to hold the ceremony to remind people that the nation is still at war.
Aug. 2, 1990. That s when this unit started to go to war and we haven t stopped yet, he said, referring to U.S. military operations during the Gulf War and in Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, and now the war on ISIS. Next month s deployment will be the fourth for some members of the unit.
Our nation has made extraordinary demands on you and your families, Shaheen said. Sgt. Andrew Ducharme, 23, of Weare, is one of the 29 airmen deploying next month. It will be his first deployment.
He said he s excited about the opportunity, but admitted that it will be difficult to be away from his family.
It will be a good experience and a good building block, he said. Ducharme was joined by his family, including his grandmother, Annette Ducharme, 75, of Amherst.
I m feeling sad, but I m proud of him and I m thankful that there are young men and women who are willing to sacrifice for us because that s why we have our freedom, she said. Technical Sgt. Jared McGouldrick, 35, of Belgrade, Maine, will leave behind his wife, Caitlin, and 3-year-old son, Colin.
I ve got a lot going on right now. I m trying to get everything buttoned up for my civilian job before I head out the door, he said.
His wife said their son is really too young to understand what s happening, but they had a pillow made with his dad s picture on it to remind Colin of his father.
We re just trying to talk to him about how daddy s going to leave and daddy s at work. It s going to be tough, but you ve gotta do what you ve gotta do, she said.