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    Photo By Tech. Sgt. Christopher Milbrodt | ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (October 9, 2016) - Soldiers from the Florida National Guard...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Christopher Milbrodt 

    107th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    SAINT AUGUSTINE, Fla. (October 9, 2016) – As the citizens of Florida prepared for the impact of Hurricane Matthew, Soldiers and Airmen of the Florida National Guard prepared to help.

    Since its founding in 1565, the Florida National Guard has answered the governor’s call to duty for everything from wild fires to hurricanes, and has served as the first point of help for many affected citizens. This time, Florida Governor Rick Scott activated more than 3,500 Citizen-Soldiers to bring stability to those affected by the storm.

    Units prepositioned across the state to were ready to assist citizens by providing basic life needs, such as food, water, and shelter to areas impacted by the storm.

    “Back in 2004, I lived through Hurricane Ivan in northwest Pensacola, so I understand where they’re at and where they’re coming from,” said Spc. Gregory McClellan, a cavalry scout with Bravo Troop, 1-153rd Cavalry Squadron. “I went through this same type of line as a child, having supplies we needed handed to us by a Florida Guardsman, and it gave me sense of comfort as well.”

    According to McClellan, more than 100 vehicles full of storm-affected citizens passed through the point of distribution operated by his unit to receive food and water. He says it’s not only about getting the supplies they need, but having someone to simply ask them how they are and most importantly, be a friendly ear or shoulder to cry on.

    “It’s rewarding to know that I was once in their shoes and now I can be a part of the help and be a part of giving that comfort and security to the people who have pretty much nothing at this point,” McClellan said.

    Hurricane Matthew may have been the first call to state active-duty for some of the Guardsmen helping, but according to Army Staff Sgt. James Lang, a squad leader with Bravo Troop, 1-153rd Cavalry Squadron, his Soldiers were motivated on their mission helping fellow Floridians in their time of need.

    “I have never had to worry about which of my Soldiers was going to get up to help the people coming through the line; every one of them has continually stepped up to ask what can they do to help,” said Lang. “My guys have gotten a chance to see what the Guard is all about in the past few days. We are here to help our fellow citizens no matter what.”

    When disaster strikes, Florida Guardsmen answer the call to help their fellow citizens, even when the duty may call them away from their own homes being affected.

    “Any time a disaster like this happens, know that help is on the way,” said McClellan. “Help will be on the way from local authorities and us, but we will always be there.”



    Date Taken: 10.09.2016
    Date Posted: 10.10.2016 13:48
    Story ID: 211655
    Location: ST. AUGUSTINE, FL, US 

    Web Views: 146
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