Chance encounter leads to reunion

Staff Sgt. Patrick Bailey, Allentown Rs meets up Deborah McKnight, at the Covenant signing in Allentown. McKnight is the mother of Pvt. Jeffery McKnight currently with the 20th Engineer Brigade. McKnight expressed her joy at seeing Bailey again and expressed how proud she is of her son who loves the Army. McKnight thanked Bailey for all he did to guide her son through the enlistment process. Pvt .McKnight enlisted after graduating in 2010 from Parkland HS.


Allentown:  “I do good no one remembers, I make a mistake no one forgets,” is purported to be an old Pennsylvania Dutch saying, however this did not hold true for Staff Sgt. Patrick Bailey, from the Allentown Recruiting Center.

 On March 20, Bailey was in attendance supporting the Community Covenant signing in Allentown when, from across the room he was approached by Deborah McKnight. “Sgt. Bailey, Sgt. Bailey is that you? Yes, I thought it was!” A smile spread across her face as she neared Bailey.  “May I speak with you for a few moments? I want to tell you all about Jeff.”  Bailey smiled and extended his hand to greet her at which point McKnight hugged him. “I’ll just borrow him for a couple of minutes,” she said to Sgt 1st Class Edward Ortiz, his station commander and Company Commander Megan Mechan, “Sgt. Bailey did so much for our family and our son, and it is wonderful to see him.”

 Upon returning to the table Bailey related how Jeffery McKnight enlisted after graduating from Parkland High School in 2010 and is  with the 20th Engineer Brigade and loving Army life.

 Lt. Col. Erik Walker, commanding officer of the ROTC unit at Lehigh University who was also at the table commented “This just goes to show how much of an impact one good Soldier can make in a community.” 

Ortiz stated “Recruiting places Soldiers in a fishbowl with everyone looking at what you do.  When a recruiter does the job with enthusiasm and does it well, it can really make a difference, one person at a time.”

About armystrongpa

Welcome to the United States Army Harrisburg Recruiting Battalion. The “Steel” battalion is a proud organization dedicated to supporting the important mission of recruiting for “America’s Army.” Your assignment as a recruiter in the great state of Pennsylvania will be an extremely challenging and rewarding experience for you, both professionally and personally. With over 200 community-based professionals located in communities throughout Pennsylvania who share the same concerns as do all responsible citizens regarding the future of America’s youth. In particular, we want to help students stay in school, remain drug-free, be physically fit, and realize their potential to become productive members of society.
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