Citizen-Soldiers refuel locals with food, water, ice, tarps
By Staff Sgt. Jeff Lowry
Indiana National Guard Public Affairs
LIVINGSTON, La. - Like a scene from pit road during a stock car race, cars and trucks formed a line as National Guard Soldiers, looking like pit crew members, gave away MREs, and water to Louisiana residents suffering from damage left in Hurricane Gustav's wake.
That was the scene at just one point of distribution (POD), set up across the state, to help citizens recover from the storm damage.
"I think it's great," said Floyd Wagner, commenting on the food and water he was about to receive. "They (Louisiana residents) need all the help they can get 'cause everybody in the community needs it," said Wagner of Killian, La.
At about 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 3, two tractor trailer trucks delivered more than 6,000 boxes of MREs, each box containing 12 meals. It was later supplemented by a tractor trailer load of cases of bottled water.
Depending on what each POD contains, citizens could receive water, ice, food, and tarps.
First in line at Livingston was Ruby Mayeaux of Livingston. She said she was driving by and saw the trucks arrive at a local kennel club.”The Lord blessed me," she said of her prized queue position.
Radio reports said lines at some PODs were nine hours long. Within an hour the line at the Livingston POD extended a mile long down the exit ramp to Interstate-12, another line extended about a half mile on the overpass.
The pit crew, National Guard Soldiers, said they were happy to assist delivering the food and water.
"It feels really good that we can help out," said Pvt. Marvin Warner of Vidalia, La., as he helped stack the MRE boxes. Warner is a driver for the 1086th Transportation Company.
"It's pretty fun going to different places everyday," said Warner who has been to five towns since Thursday. Warner is also a physical therapy major at University of Louisiana Monroe when not serving in the Guard.
Tennessee National Guard Spc. Zachary Morrison takes honor in helping his fellow Americans.
"It's good to help Americans in their time of need," he said as he directed the drivers to pit road.