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PEPPERELL– Resident Casey Reed is being deployed to Afghanistan with the National Guard later this summer and his service was recognized by Cub Scout Pack 55 with a going-away party on May 24.

The occasion included selectmen and Scouts giving words of thanks to Reed, who was no stranger to the venue as a den leader and parent of two Scouts.

“I’m a regular,” he said, when asked about being invited to the Scout meeting.

Even so, Pack 55 Scoutmaster Mike Landino was able to throw in some surprises, announcing that the pack has purchased a flag that will fly over Main Street in Reed’s honor while he’s away.

Reed was also given 25 homemade cards from an elementary school class from Williamstown, N.J., whom Landino connected with via the Internet while planning the celebration.

The kids from New Jersey had made similar cards in 2009 for the parent of a classmate who was being deployed, said Landino who learned about the story while looking for a good celebration that could involve the kids. Having contacted the teacher, Karen Carino, Landino said they wanted to be involved with this celebration too, and that’s where the cards came from.

The stack of cards included a collection of red, white, and blue thumbprints — one from every student in the class — which formed the American flag. It also included a letter from Carino, which Landino read for the occasion.

“Dear Mr. Casey,

We heard that you’ll be leaving soon to help protect our country, we know how difficult it is to be apart from your loved ones, as our class has experienced it in the past few months. When times get tough, please know that a first-grade class in New Jersey is rooting for you; we cannot thank you enough for protecting our great nation. God bless you and your family.”

Reed was also given a certificate of appreciation from the Board of Selectmen and a salute from the Boy Scouts.

Reed is a staff sergeant in the 181st Infantry, and he expects to be mobilized in August for stateside training before heading to Afghanistan. He expects to be overseas for roughly a year. This will be his first deployment overseas in more than 10 years with the military.

A New Hampshire native, Reed has lived in Pepperell for five years. As a civilian, he’s an illustrator for Sky and Telescope magazine, in Cambridge.

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