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    Army Reserve Soldiers transport Houston residents



    Story by Staff Sgt. Charlotte Reavis 

    345th Public Affairs Detachment

    HOUSTON, Texas - “Twice the citizen.” This phrase is often used to describe United States Army Reservists because they not only wear the military uniform, they also have a civilian job and life outside of the military. For members of the 348th Transportation Battalion, becoming twice the citizen in a time of need was exactly what they intended to be once Hurricane Harvey struck.

    “The hurricane hit late Friday, early Saturday,” said Sgt. Robin Richardson, a member of the 348th, based out of Houston, and a Houston resident herself. “We heard things were bad with our city; flooding, a lot of people trying to get evacuated, a lot of damage, kids being trapped. I felt like I needed to help.”

    Richardson was one of many soldiers from the area who answered her unit’s call to head to the North Houston Reserve Center and begin preparing to provide aid to the local community immediately.

    “We have been here for about a week and have completed about 500 rescue missions,” said Sgt. 1st Class Gywhan Parker, the operations non-commissioned officer for the 644th Transportation Company, also based out of Houston at the Reserve Center. Parker said the soldiers came together from the various units located at the center to assist with supply missions, rescuing pets and escorting vehicles through the watery terrain in a safe manner.

    The soldiers stated that they utilize their Battle Assembly weekends to stay trained on the vehicles that they use so that when events like this happen, they are well prepared.

    “You can’t prepare yourself for something like this,” Parker said, “but (the soldiers) were ready and willing to step up, get in the vehicles and go through the dangers that possibly could have happened during the flooding and rescuing people from houses.”

    Parker stated that the vehicles they used were the Light Medium Tactical Vehicle and Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles, which are able to go through deep water. He also stated that the soldiers are trained on the proper ground guiding techniques so that the guide can lead the vehicle through water while staying on the paved roads.

    “When people are in dire need,” Parker said, “that’s why we put on the uniform. When people are in need we go and help and assist people without asking. It’s the right thing to do.”

    Richardson stated that in addition to the rescue operations that they have conducted, the soldiers have also donated to the local shelters.

    “(We donated) water, food, hamburger meat, any type of food, medical supplies or anything that they needed to try to get them over the storm while the storm was still here,” she said. “It makes me feel pretty good that I am actually giving back to the community.”

    Although Harvey is no longer active in the Houston area, the soldiers will continue their relief missions for days and possibly weeks to come.

    “We are here for support,” Parker said. “Regardless of if its wartime, peacetime, or doing any type of evacuation. We are here to do that.”



    Date Taken: 09.01.2017
    Date Posted: 09.05.2017 18:28
    Story ID: 247184
    Location: HOUSTON, TX, US 
    Hometown: HOUSTON, TX, US

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