NEWS | Sept. 14, 2021

Oklahoma Guard distributing critical supplies to Louisianans

By Cpl. Reece Heck 145th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

Soldiers and Airmen with the Oklahoma National Guard are helping their Louisiana neighbors by supplying citizens affected by Hurricane Ida with much needed items at points of distribution sites, Sept. 4.

Oklahoma Guardsmen are glad to do their part to help those impacted by Hurricane Ida.

“We are running a point of distribution where we hand out goods to the local populace who are low on food, water, and basic supplies,” said Staff Sgt. Shane Newell, noncommissioned officer in charge of the Donaldsonville POD. “This POD is one of many [operated by the Oklahoma National Guard]. It is like eating an elephant; take one bite at a time. That is how you accomplish a big mission over time.”

Oklahoma’s Army and Air Guardsmen are spread throughout 13 different POD sites in southern Louisiana. Citizens needing aid come to the POD sites to receive things such as tarps, ice, rations and water. These items are needed as many areas affected by Hurricane Ida are still without electricity and running water.

Spc. Dylan Pacheco, a Soldier at the Donaldsonville POD with Bravo Company, 545th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 45th Infantry Brigade, says he is very glad to be able to help out another state in need.

“It feels amazing to help. It makes us proud to wear this uniform and it reminds us why we put it on and why we raised our right hand. It’s just a great feeling,” Pacheco said.

More than 7,800 families have received aid from Oklahoma Guardsmen across seven affected parishes. It is missions like these that bring Guardsmen together to serve their country and fellow-citizens. Oklahoma Guardsmen, coming from all different backgrounds and civilian careers, come together to accomplish the same goal.

“I feel like I’m doing what I joined the military to do,” said Spc. Caleb Galloway, another Soldier with the 545th BEB. “I have eight years [of] combined service. I did active duty Marines. Then I joined the Guard because I felt like I had more to offer to the citizens of the U.S. So being able to come down here, I feel like I’m actually able to help people.”

See more photos at https://www.dvidshub.net/image/6819667/oklahoma-national-guard-provides-aid-citizens-affected-hurricane-ida