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Cardona performs reenlistment ceremonies at The Hall
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There has been no shortage of confetti falling on the Patriots this month. When it rained down on Joe Cardona on Feb. 14, it wasn't in the wake of a Super Bowl victory, but it was still a special moment.
Joe, an ensign in the Navy, performed two reenlistment ceremonies at The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon, and at the end of the second ceremony for Senior Chief Master at Arms (MACS) Chris Downing, with impeccable timing, confetti fell from the ceiling to punctuate the moment.
Both MACS Downing and Staff Sargeant Nathaniel Heyward, a Marine recruiter in Foxborough who has served for more than eight years, asked Joe to perform their reenlistment ceremonies as they continue their careers in the military, and Joe said it is an honor to be able to do something like this for fellow service members.
"It really just means a lot to me because these are requests coming from service members," Joe said. "It just happens that a couple of these personnel have had decorated careers with years of experience, and they’re asking me to come out and do this for them. It means a lot to me."
And it was special for the families, as well. After Staff Sargeant Heyward recited the oath for reenlistment, he sweetened the day even more for his family by proposing to his now fiancée, Susana Tineo.
"I didn’t plan any of it. I just figured I wanted it to mean something – to me and to her," he said. "Her family is big fans so I know it would mean the world to her and I felt like it was the right time."
While the proposal took her by surprise, Susana said it was more than an engagement.
"Yesterday meant more than getting engaged. It meant joining a family, a formal relationship, a commitment and a compromise with his job," she said.
For both MACS Downing and Staff Sargeant Heyward, family played an important role in the day, and as a military child himself, Joe said having that support system -- from a new fiancée to children -- is crucial.
"It’s a full time job for everyone involved -- for their spouses, as well as their children. You’re dealing with a whole different set of circumstances when you deal with deployments," Joe said. "Your husband or your wife or father or mother, they go on a deployment, and you’re without them for six months. It’s tough. Little moments like this or being able to go to a game mean a lot to a lot of military kids." Read