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    Arkansas National Guard and Texas residents stand as one after Hurricane Harvey

    Arkansas National Guard and Texas residents stand as one after Hurricane Harvey

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Nicolas A. Cloward | Beaumont, Texas— Soldiers serving with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 153rd...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Nicolas A. Cloward 

    128th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    Soldiers from the 153rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) from the Arkansas National Guard maneuvered around each other with their arms full of water bottles and Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) along with other much needed supplies to fill vehicles for residence of Jefferson County left in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Sept. 9,2017.
    On their first day, the Soldiers were able to provide over 2,000 cases of water and over a 1,000 cases of MREs to whomever needed them. They also provided essentials needed to help them go about their daily lives such as toiletries, diapers, and cleaning supplies, as well as toys and games for kids.
    They knew that their mission was to supply as many people in need as possible, but what they didn’t expect was how eager the community was to give back.
    “I love being down here, honestly. It’s one big community. We’re helping out with them as much as they’re helping out with us,” said Sgt. Ronnie Backer, an air-conditioning mechanic for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 39th IBCT.
    Baker explained that he and his fellow Soldiers had an overwhelming amount of support from local residents, restaurants and religious groups providing whatever they could to help support their mission.
    He said some people came through the point of distribution at Frank H. Carpenter Volunteer Fire Department to grab supplies while also leaving them with hot meals and energy drinks and tokens of appreciation, Baker said.
    “Even people who’ve lost everything, they’re trying to help us as much as we’re trying to help them.” Said Baker
    Among those giving back, there was also those that seemed timid to ask for help or didn’t know how much they were allowed to take back to their families. To ease their minds, Soldiers met them with a smile and did what they could to make them comfortable and get them back on the road with as much as possible to live comfortably.
    “My granddad, an older gentleman, always said, ‘It’s not a hand out, it’s a hand up.’ So, we’re helping people up,” said 1st Sgt. Kenyon Randle, who serves as first sergeant for C Co. 2nd BN, 153rd IBCT, Arkansas Guard.
    Randle explained that after a rushed and stressful preparation to deploy, Soldiers were ready and willing to get out and help people in the community in any way they could.
    “For them to get a chance to get out in the community and do what they signed up to do, their morale was through the roof today.” Randle said.
    When all was said and done and the days mission came to an end. The Soldiers returned to the Ford Arena in Beaumont to get some well-deserved sleep to prepare for their mission the next day.
    “I think my Soldiers performed well today, Said Randle. “I’m really proud of them.”



    Date Taken: 09.09.2017
    Date Posted: 09.12.2017 13:31
    Story ID: 247916
    Location: BEAUMONT, TX, US 

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