Mar 11, 2016
Everything at the moment is slow, still, and coming together. The clouds are still dark, the command are still planning operations, and the trucks are fueled ready to go. I was called to duty, but now I’m just waiting at the unit in Covington to get activated on a mission. I have been listening to the updates. A good amount of people have lost their homes, and others have lost their lives. Earlier, we left the unit to get lunch. They didn’t make us pay for our sandwiches, because they figured the store would be underwater soon anyway. (Tick Tock,) time moves by slowly. ” I just want to leave this place to help people!! ”
SSG Phillips runs into the classroom , where we were lounging around anxiously. with his civilian clothes on his five foot ten inch, 190 pound, built, 40 year old frame “we’ve got one!” We stumble out of our cots with excitement, preparing for the mission ahead. Three flashlights, four life vests, and enough zeal to motivate a town of hopeless souls. The mission Intel says there are four people trapped inside of their home that is lifted up off of the ground. Sgt Moller who is in his 50’s, around 6’1, 200 pounds, and a prominent bald spot down the middle of his head, and I load up the up-armored LMTV pushing forward with the mission. “This is it! I finally get to help people in need. I finally can say that I was a part of the heroes who protect this country.” I’m thinking. Sgt breaks my thoughts saying ” I’m staying on the yellow line, so that we can gauge where we are at ,and it happens to be the highest point of the road. When we come up to the ‘road closed’ signs, I need you to move them.” “Roger Sgt.” I replied looking at the destruction that the flooding has caused. Water rushing, we were about four feet deep or so treading through. Around us were abandoned cars pushed around by the road filled with water, bent trees from where the water was high, buildings with doors flung open , and a dark road covered by a current that’s only lighted by our vehicle. We approach the Road closed signs, so I hop out of the truck without a moments notice, sprinting toward the signs, moving them quickly. We continue down route after I climb back into the truck.
Contact was made at 4:30 A.M.
Lights flashed ahead from a bucket truck. “HEY, WE’RE OVER HERE!” The four men seemed excited to see us. We hop out of the truck, letting down the gate to get them on and one of them says “Man, it’s warmer back here than it was in that truck, thank you so much for coming out here! We would’ve been stuck without you.” I stayed quiet and Sgt. Says “You’re welcome, I actually live out this way, and am glad I could help out neighbors.” We call command to let them know the mission was accomplished, we head back toward the nearest high school , and headlights suddenly appear. “Hey, do you think I could make it through?” Yells the worried man. he seemed to have a short, bull-dog like frame, a beer gut, with dark hair, and eyes to match. “No, the water is too deep for a pick- up truck. You can follow our tread out, so you won’t get stuck.” “Alright,” says the man. “Well, we are going to need you to stay close if you do that, if you are too far back the current and depth will suck you in.” Needless to say, the man stuck to us like white on rye. We get to the school at 5:10 A.M. To drop the men off, they thank us for a final time, and move about their business where the Red Cross and Sheriffs department was posted. We arrive back to the unit at 5:30 A.M. SSG Jenkins was on duty. a man in his early 40’s with a larger frame standing at 5’10, 240 pounds or so. He looks at his watch and says “Alright, go get some rest, and we will start cycling you soldiers to get McDonalds shortly.” I laughed thinking “Man, they have no food arrangements, so they send us to eat fast food with our own money.” I’m sure we had other food options, but at this point I didn’t really care what it was.” Hey, food is food! Keep it at moderation I guess? ” I said sarcastically walking back to the classroom. Only to lie awake ready to go on another mission. Anxiously, I toss and turn trying to get some shut eye.(Well, moral of the story is, I’m writing an accurate account waiting to go on a mission that may or may not occur for several hours. I couldn’t tell you why I can’t take advantage of the time to sleep.)