HOWELL — When township school students return to their classes on Monday some will be boarding buses that just a few days ago were occupied by heroes on their way to a deployment thanks to the quick thinking and combined efforts of the police, the school district, and the local government.

Chief Andrew Kudrick said the department got a call on Friday that 70 members of the U.S. Marine Corps who were at the Red Bank Armory were unable to get to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakhurst after their flight for their upcoming deployment got changed, and new transportation could not be arranged in time for Saturday.

Kudrick said one of the Marines knew about work the department had done with the armed forces in the past, and when they got the call the request went to Air Force veteran and current Howell Sgt. John Lopez as it worked its way up the chain of command.

The request worked its way up to Kudrick, then through Howell Board of Education Business Administrator Ron Sanasac, and Township Manager Jeff Mayfield, who approved the use of the buses for the transportation.

Kudrick said from the time the Marine made the first call it took only one hour to work its way through to final approval.

"That's the relationship we have in this township," he said. "We are all on the same page."

The chief said despite the unusual request there was "no hesitation" between the police, the district, and the township to help the Marines in their time of need.

The trip from Red Bank to Fort Dix was not a long one, but the chief said the department and the township were just happy to help.

"Our military personnel asked for assistance, we provided it," he said. "And, we are all proud to have done so. We wish them a very safe deployment."

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Contact reporter Adam Hochron at 609-359-5326 or

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