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Mt. Pleasant's Alfonso "Al" Maida is honored for his military career

| Wednesday, July 9, 2014, 9:01 p.m.
Kelly Vernon | The Mt. Pleasant Journal
Local dignitaries helped honor Alfonso “Al” Maida of Mt. Pleasant with a plaque for his many years of service with the PA Army National Guard. Pictured (from left) are Mt. Pleasant Borough Mayor Jerry Lucia; (left) State Rep. Ted Harhai, D-Monessen; Maida; U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair; and Westmoreland County Commissioner Ted Kopas at the Army National Guard Readiness Center in Mt. Pleasant Township. Photo taken on Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Kelly Vernon | The Mt. Pleasant Journal
Alfonso “Al” Maida of Mt. Pleasant reminisces about his career with the Army National Guard after he was recognized for more than 40 years of service with the local unit recently at the PA Army National Guard Readiness Center in Mt. Pleasant Township. In addition, Maida recognized many of the men that served with him that were in attendance. Photo taken on Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Kelly Vernon | The Mt. Pleasant Journal
The plaque presented recently to Alfonso “Al” Maida of Mt. Pleasant for his many years of service with the PA Army National Guard contains a photo of him during his active years between 1949 and 1991. Photo taken Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Mt. Pleasant's Alfonso “Al” Maida was recently honored for the more than 40 years he spent in service to the Pennsylvania Army National Guard.

U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, was joined by state Rep. Ted Harhai, D-Monessen; Mt. Pleasant Borough Mayor Gerald Lucia; and Westmoreland County Commissioner Ted Kopas to recognize Maida during a ceremony held at the PA Army National Guard Readiness Center in Mt. Pleasant Township.

Harhai served as master of ceremonies.

The facility on School Street serves as the home of the Headquarters and Headquarters Co., 1-110th Infantry, an element of Pennsylvania's 28th Infantry Division (Mechanized).

Maida began his military career in May 1947 when he was a junior in high school and enlisted in the National Guard in Mt. Pleasant.

In the summer of 1948, he attended Small Arms Weapons School at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland. Maida graduated from Ramsay High School in 1949 and soon after was hired as the federal caretaker at the Mt. Pleasant Armory.

On May 5, 1950, he was activated into federal service and went to Camp Atterbury, Ind. He was discharged from active duty in June 1952.

Upon return from active duty, Maida took part in reorganizing the PA National Guard Unit. In July of 1953, Maida was the only full-time federal employee at the Mt. Pleasant Armory. He was promoted to warrant officer in 1953 and later to chief warrant officer 2.

When the warrant officer slot was eliminated from the infantry company, he referred back to his permanent rank of sergeant first class.

In 1988, Maida was a non-commissioned officer in charge of a mission to the Philippines. Maida also had 26 years as an instructor in the PA Officer Candidate School, and he was guest instructor at the National Guard Professional Academy at Camp Robinson, Ark.

Maida was discharged March 2, 1991, with more than 40 years of service. He worked full-time in the National Guard from 1949 to 1991 with a break from 1952 to 1953 when the Unit Colors were in Germany.

CW2 Maida was a National Guard full-time technician for more than 42 years.

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