A man that “lives and breathes patriotism,” Specialist Anthony Cafiero is this week’s Warrior of the Week.

The 24-year-old joined the National Guard in September 2006, and he is currently studying at Ocean County Community College to pursue his goal of becoming involved with the law enforcement, according to his mother, Kathy Cafiero.

Four days after his graduation from Lacey High School, Cafiero spent two months at  Fort Still US Military Base in Oklahoma. In August of 2008, Cafiero was sent to Iraq to serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

While in Iraq, Cafiero monitored Iraqi detainees. In 2007-2008, The United States held more than 25,000 detainees throughout the Middle East.

“As a mom you always wonder and want to make sure you child is eating,” said Cafiero. “With Anthony being in Iraq, I couldn’t monitor that he was taking care of himself, so on the short occasions that he would call or an email that I would receive, I would always ask about his eating. Anthony’s response was always, ‘Don’t worry mom I’m eating just fine.’”

Currently, Cafiero is ranked as a Specialist E4.

Before Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast, the National Guard requested volunteers to report to Long Beach Island. “Anthony volunteered, packed up and was on Long Beach Island in a matter of hours,” said Kathy.

During the first hours of the storm, Cafiero rescued people from their homes and made sure they were safely getting off the island. “He was there while the ocean and the bay met each other, he gave selflessly of himself,” said Cafiero.

Cafiero was awarded “The Army Commendation MEDAL,” “The State of New Jersey Distinguished Service Medal" and was presented a commendation of Outstanding Service from the Borough of Ship Bottom for his efforts during Superstorm Sandy.

“On Veteran's Day you will find Anthony sitting at Ruby Tuesdays celebrating with his 94-year-old grandfather who is a Navy Veteran from WWII,” said Kathy.

It is people like Cafiero who make the United States a safe, ideal and superior place to live.

Thank you.