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Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Letter to the Editor

April 25, 2015

Dear Editor: On behalf of Lincoln School, we would like to thank the Caldwell-West Caldwell community for supporting the Lincoln School Home School Association’s “A Day at the Pi...

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Internship Program - TAP into West Essex

TAPinto.net Looking for Summer and Fall College Interns

WEST ESSEX, NJ – Are you a college student looking for an internship experience with an online news organization? Do you study journalism or another writing major and are interested in lea...

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Admit U to College

College-bound and Curious: What should you be doing NOW?

There is no rest for the weary for college-bound students this spring. From high school freshmen to admitted seniors, everyone has a to-do list of college-related activities and Admit U can help...

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West Essex Regional Schools

West Essex High School Observes Earth Day

NORTH CALDWELL, NJ - West Essex High School celebrated Earth Day with a visit from Stouty the Squirrel, who scurried over to the high school during lunch and posed for photographs...

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Y Works

West Essex YMCA to Hold Grand Opening of New State-of-the-Art Resistance Center

LIVINGSTON, NJ - The West Essex YMCA said it has been receiving rave reviews about its brand new, state-of-the-art resistance center, which will be introduced to members and friends Sunday at th...

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Discount Travel News

Highly Rated Beachfront in St. Maarten $474/wk

St. Maarten, a little spec of paradise placed in the midst of the Caribbean islands. With an average annual temperature of 80.6 degrees, its tropical climate lends itself to guaranteed beautiful...

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Caldwell-West Caldwell School District In the News

Grover Cleveland Students Win Awards at School’s First Science Fair

WEST CALDWELL, NJ – According to school officials, eighth-grade students from Grover Cleveland Middle School, in Caldwell impressed their peers, parents and scientists from Novartis, Stude...

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Tune Into Tola

Thank the Old Gods and the New: 'Thrones' is Back

LIVINGSTON, NJ - After a shocking and brutal finale to Season Four, the groundbreaking HBO series Game of Thrones is back for a fifth season and is promising to be fiercer than ever. When Season...

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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