Maintenance window scheduled to begin at February 14th 2200 est. until 0400 est. February 15th


Forgot Password?

    Or login with Facebook
    Defense Visual Information Distribution Service Logo

    Citizens and Soldiers Come Together as a Community after the Storm

    Citizens and Soldiers Come Together as a Community after the Storm

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Karen Kozub | SAINT AUGUSTINE, Fla. (October 9, 2016) – Florida National Guard Soldiers assist...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Christopher Vann 

    107th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    SAINT AUGUSTINE, Fla. (October 9, 2016) – After Floridians battled one of the harshest storms in recent memory, displaced residents from the northeast coast bedded down onto cots set up in local schools and emergency shelters.

    As Hurricane Matthew’s destructive winds and rain, strong enough to topple trees and damage structures, pelted the coast community volunteers and shelter staff worked alongside National Guard Soldiers assisting the local citizens who had fled their homes.

    As staff and volunteers provided shelter residents creature comforts, Soldiers provided another set of helping hands while safeguarding the buildings to ensure people’s safety.

    “I just want to thank the Guard for the work they did,” said Diane Gorski, supervisor for the St. John’s County Parks and Recreation Department, one of the people working with the local emergency operations center and the Florida National Guard. “Having the Guard here helped take off a lot of the pressure.”

    Pacetti Bay Middle School principal, Jay Willets, whose primary responsibility was to provide shelter and support to those with special medical needs, welcomed the Soldiers.

    “You never realize what you need, until you realize what you need,” said Willets. “They have been ‘Johnny-on-the-spot’.”

    St. Augustine couple Queen and George McCall said that they had been recipients of stellar service while at the middle school, and that they were thankful for the Soldiers for their relief efforts.

    “Without the help of these fine people, I don’t know if we would have survived,” said Queen. “Each and every one of them are truly a blessing from God.”

    One of the 3,500 members of the Florida National Guard who was activated was 2nd Lt. Aaron Harvey, 1st Squadron, 153rd Cavalry Regiment, who provided his on-the-ground perspective on his troops’ role in their disaster response operations.

    “Keeping with our mission, my Soldiers stayed motivated,” said Harvey. “They were happy to serve the state of Florida and they did it to the best of their abilities.”



    Date Taken: 10.09.2016
    Date Posted: 10.10.2016 15:01
    Story ID: 211659
    Location: ST. AUGUSTINE, FL, US 

    Web Views: 107
    Downloads: 0