Video: "Knock, Knock, Knock! It’s the National Guard" A Search for the Stranded
Video by Tech. Sgt. Carl Clegg
With roughly 8500 year-round residents, Long Beach Island, NJ (LBI) during the fall and winter is 18 miles of beaches and thousands of mostly uninhabited summer homes. Searching for stranded residents who didn’t leave before Hurricane Sandy came to town is a daunting task. Enter: The New Jersey National Guard. Army and Air National Guardsmen from all over the state joined forces to search house-by-house for anyone who may have fallen victim to the storm’s ferocity and its surge in flood waters that careened over the dunes and devastated properties. SSgt Jeanie Hubbard of the 108th LRS Says that helping her fellow citizens in distress is exactly why she joined the Guard. She also explains the logistics of keeping track of the troops as they go on missions. Members of the 108th Wing knock loudly on doors and call out that the National Guard is here to help. Eager to help his neighbors, SSgt Patrick Hernandez of the 108th Communications Flight is relieved to not find anyone in distress today while searching LBI door-to-door. SSgt Isiah Thomas of the 108th FSS expresses his empathy for the losses felt by the victims of Hurricane Sandy. The living conditions for the Guardsmen are safe and clean and for many, include a healthy dose of MREs (Meals Ready to Eat). After a few days of MREs, “real” food starts to come in from citizens wishing to give back to those who are sacrificing for them, and morale starts to climb. The National Guard has transitioned to a State Active Duty Joint Task Force with more than 1,100 Airmen and Soldiers. More than 450 high-water vehicles including Humvees and heavy trucks are employed assisting civil authorities. Their individual civilian and military skill sets will greatly enhance the support they provide to law enforcement, municipalities, and residents of our great state. More Information will be forthcoming as things progress. Produce by Tech Sgt. Carl Clegg. Also available in High Definition.