Since Harvey struck the Texas Gulf Coast last week, the Oklahoma National Guard has been busy providing our neighboring state with the relief it desperately needs.
"Our mission is to help the people of Florida in any way that we can", Col. John Oakley, commander of the Red Arrow brigade, said. The team is expected to depart from Gabreski Air National Guard Base in Westhampton Beach this afternoon.
Air National Guardsmen from the Bay Area headed to Florida Friday so they will be there to help victims of Hurricane Irma once the massive storm makes landfall this weekend. Additionally, the Governor is deploying Task Force 2 (NYTF-2), a specialized team of first responders and equipment skilled in structural collapse rescue, excavation emergencies, technical rope rescues, confined space rescue, and other specialized rescues to Florida.
The entire unit served as witnesses and their friend, Tech Sgt. Ashley Ridgeway, notarized the marriage, according to the Florida National Guard Public Affairs Office.
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The debates here, now before the Supreme Court, have centered around what constitutes such a "bona fide relationship". Both provisions were blocked by lower courts but were partially revived by the Supreme Court in June.
The Army said Saturday night that active duty, Reserve and Army National Guard personnel were either already involved in the Irma response or preparing to give support.
"It's why we are here", said Captain Forest Thrush. The Texas National Guard will remain in support of relief efforts as long as the state requests our assistance and will remain in impacted areas as long as needed.
Members of the Corps of Engineers were monitoring the Herbert Hoover Dike on Florida's Lake Okeechobee, as well as working to restore power in the U.S. Virgin Islands and in Puerto Rico. "As we continue to pray for those affected by these weather events, we want each of them to know that the Guardsmen of CT supporting these relief efforts will remain on duty until the job is done".
Major General Martin said, "When there are people in need, time and time again the Guard stands up and answers the call".