Former Army buddies join forces to clean up ice jam damage



Army buddies sticking together

(photos: Anthony Lucarelli)

CUDDEBACKVILLE – Six former Army buddies who served in Afghanistan were in Cuddebackville over the weekend helping Andy and Kristina Finnigan get their Oakland Valley Campgrounds back in shape.
In January massive ice jams tore through the Guymard Turnpike and Route 209 area. The flooding and ice jams decimated their wooded campgrounds so a call went out to the buddies to spend this past weekend cutting up downed trees and performing other work to return the property to campground use.
Among the buddies was Armando Lopez, who retired from the military after a 40 year career.
“We all kind of stick together; help each other out,” Lopez said. “He [Andy Finnigan] took it in the shorts here at the campgrounds so I figured I would come up here and help them out. Friends in need all stick together.”
Scott Beauchamp, a Purple Heart recipient, was glad to help out his friend.
“We are all combat engineers by trade, so this is like second nature to us. It’s like being back for a minute,” Beauchamp said.
Andy Finnigan was appreciative of the help he and his wife received and reflected how he got to meet his buddies. He joined the Army National Guard after 9/11 at age 34.
“Don’t attack my country,” Finnigan said. “My daughter shouldn’t have to live in a country that is being attacked by people. I got angry and I joined.”
When the floodwaters and ice jams occurred in January, residents of the lowlands area had to be evacuated by local firefighters.

What it looked like in January (photo: Anthony Lucarelli)


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