FORT HAMILTON, N.Y. – Soldiers, airmen, first responders and other government agencies aid Coney Island residents impacted by Hurricane Sandy in New York City, N.Y., Nov. 9, 2012.
The collaborative effort offered residents supplies and medical attention; determined to support residents not able to leave their homes.
“We are going to go door-to-door, seeing if anybody needs food, medical assistance, water or anything that they might need,” said U.S. Army National Guardsman Pvt. Joseph Chojnacki IV, a cavalry scout of A. Troop, 2nd Squadron, 101st Cavalry, Geneva, N.Y.
Chojnacki and fellow Army Guardsmen were on standby before the storm hit and was then activated and arrived to Fort Hamilton, N.Y., Oct. 31, 2012.
“Buildings were completely devastated,” said Chojnacki, a Buffalo, N.Y., native.
“We were walking on what used to be regular streets,” he explained regarding the view he saw when he first arrived to the city. “It felt like we were walking at the beach, because of all the sand.”
But the Guardsmen weren’t the only ones who traveled hundreds of miles to help those affected by the storm.
Blake Graham, and Kiaya Perkins, Lafayette, Ind., natives, and first responders – medical personnel capable of providing basic life support – of the Prompt Ambulance Service, Lafayette, Ind., traveled more than 700 miles to support Hurricane Sandy relief operations.
Graham, and Perkins are a few of more than 700 medical personnel working together to aid local residents.
“Its great how everyone can come from everywhere and work together,” said Graham.
Others assisting with the relief efforts, were Soldiers from the 101st Cavalry, Guardsmen of the 28th Military Police Company, Johnstown, Pa.; airmen of the 171st Air Refueling Wing, Pittsburg, Pa.; and members of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene [DOHMH].
Although the relief effort came prepared to assist those in need, the workforces were there to collect information from those needing other assistance not readily available such as prescription refills, and restoring power, heat, or telephone communications.
“It’s [a] beautiful thing,” said Faina Goldreyer, a New York City resident whose car was flooded, and was left without a working telephone because of the storm. Goldreyer was thankful for the soldiers and medical personnel.
At the time, more than 2,000 homes were reached by the relief effort and more than 10 residents needed medical care.
With many homes still out of power, water, food and telephone services; service members, first responders, and other local government agencies will continue to seek people in need.
“I’m happy I’m here and able to help out,” said U.S. Army Guardsman Spc. Zebadiah Mientkiewicz, a Fredonia, N.Y., native, and cavalry scout with B. Troop, 2nd Squadron, 101st Cavalry, Jamestown, N.Y.
“All-in-all, we’re doing good stuff,” he said. “Doing the right thing.”