National Guard soldiers trade parachutes for face masks

Making about 200 each day
Posted at 5:12 PM, May 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-06 17:17:08-04

COLUMBUS — At an Indiana National Guard armory in Columbus, there's something going on inside you wouldn't expect.

Six parachute riggers with the 338th Quartermaster Company temporarily put aside their normal duties in favor of making face masks to be used by fellow guardsmen.

The team usually maintains and packs parachutes and then jumps out of planes as part of their required military duty. Instead, they are producing about 200 marks a day.

"This is a different goal and mission set, and definitely a unique one," said Sgt. Mark Monson, parachute rigger with the 338th Quartermaster Company. "It is more of a civil duty."

When the work began, the Indiana unit reached out for advise from units in Rhode Island and Utah, who were also making masks.

"This is a mission for our community, and I feel like that is really important," said Spc. Alex Soliday, parachute rigger with the 338th Quartermaster Company. "We are also civilians and live a civilian lifestyle. We understand that we need to help each other out."