Recruiters Help Community, Residents Devastated by Tornado
By Jennifer Villaume, USAREC, Baton Rouge Battalion
May 16, 2014
Lakeland recruiters and the Salvation Army, along with a Lakelank radio station and two local businesses worked together April 30 to help those devastated by tornadoes that swept through Mississippi earlier in the month.
All it took was a request from the Mayor of Pearl Miss., for Lakeland Station Commander Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Vincent to call the team into action. They divided their efforts between Pearl and Flowood to increase the amount of help loading food and supplies to be delivered to their neighbors in need.
“It was over whelming to see such a good out pouring of support for all the victims of the storm. It felt good to help the individuals that were affected by the storms knowing that they would help my family out if we were in need,” said Staff Sgt. Michael Woetz.
“These types of opportunities where we can give back to the local community are another reason why I decided to convert and become a career recruiter,” said Staff Sgt. Michael Galardo. “I have helped communities outside of the United States as well, and it has a lot of impact when I'm able to do so within the local communities.”
For eight hours the team packaged 16 pallets of food and supplies for communities across Mississippi. That equates to two forty foot trailers, one 50 foot trailer, over 500 cases of water and 250 shopping carts filled with food, clothes, shoes, toys, cleaning supplies, blankets and work tools -- all loaded by hand.
“It was easy to put myself in the place of other families after sheltering my own family while the tornado passed through the area, said Sgt. Anthony Liddell. “As a recruiter, the opportunity to show concern for the community by taking action trumped other plans for the day.”
Sergeant Ed Gerfiff said, “As a Soldier and community member this was a great opportunity to give back. This effort embodies the Army Value of Selfless Service.”