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VFW Magazine January 2018 : Page 30

ARMY PHOTO BY CAPT. TYSON FRIAR we took our supplies to where they need-ed to be,” Windsor said. The United States Coast Guard also has been involved in recovery efforts in the wake of Harvey , Maria and Irma . Vice Admiral Karl Schultz, Atlantic area com-mander, said manpower has been “lever-aged” throughout the Coast Guard from as far away as Guam, Hawaii and Alaska. At the height of recovery, there were more than 2,000 Coast Guard members on site for Harvey , including active duty, reserve, civilian and Coast Guard auxil-iary, Schultz said. Irma and Maria had “well over 1,000,” according to Schultz, and there were roughly 800 active-duty Coast Guard members already assigned to Puerto Rico prior to Maria . As of mid-October, Schultz said, the Coast Guard was in Texas, “still deeply in the fight” and is a “supporting player” in Puerto Rico. KEY WEST: ÔEXTENSIVE DAMAGEÕ Hurricane Irma made landfall Sept. 10 at Cudjoe Key as a Category 4 hurricane. Later that day, the storm had weakened to a Category 3 by the time it reached Marco Island, some 220 miles away. VFW’s southern-most Post, Post 3911 in Key West, Fla., “suffered extensive dam-age,” according to Post Commander Abe Conn. Conn, who served three tours in Afghanistan (2002-03, 2005-07 and 2012-13) with the 930th Army Liaison Team of the Florida National Guard, said the PHOTO BY STEVEN SMITH/ROCKPORT PILOT Army Capt. Benjamin Stork cares for a patient on an HH-60 Blackhawk helicopter headed to the USNS Comfort , a Navy hospital ship off the coast of Puerto Rico on Oct. 20, 2017, following Hurricane Maria . Stork is a flight surgeon assigned to the 101st Airborne Division’s 6th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade. building’s roof “peeled back,” allowing water to get into the building, damag-ing the restaurant and bar. He estimated the Post suffered between $200,000 and $300,000 in damages. Though Conn said there was “a lot of devastation” at the Post, the building itself was still standing. Jose Rosa, commander of VFW Post 3282 in Port Orange, Fla., said his Post remained in good shape, though it lost When Hurricane Harvey made its way through Rockport, Texas, winds blew in the front windows of VFW Post 3904, air pressure caused the roof to separate from the building and part of the front wall fell in, according to Post Commander Jimmy McCombs. Despite the destruction of the Post, its members met in the parking lot, surrounded by the debris, in its first meeting after the storms. power for about six hours. “Overall, we didn’t fare too badly,” Rosa said. “I have to say we were pretty blessed.” Rosa’s Post opened its doors to the pub-lic and offered to send resources where needed. “We have helped several people who were isolated by the storm and helped them clear up their yards and their fenc-es,” said Rosa, who served in Vietnam from 1971-73 in the Air Force as a C-130 crew chief and during Operation Enduring  Freedom in 2002. Conn had not personally set foot inside his Post home, but said other members had gone in to “assess the damage and fig-ure out what’s what.” “We hope to see all of our brothers and sisters and neighbors down here,” Conn said. “We’ve got a very big vacationing crew. We hope everybody who comes down will stop in and say hello and have a cold drink with us.” To donate to VFW disaster relief efforts, text “NEEDS” to 80888 to make a $10 donation, or mail checks ear-marked “Emergency Relief” to: VFW  Quartermaster General, 406 W. 34th  Street, Kansas City, MO 64111.  J EMAIL 30 • VFW  • JANUARY 2018

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