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106 U.S. Airmen head to Houston to help rescue flooding victims

FORT HOOD, Texas -  

Tuesday, 106 airmen have arrived on post after Governor Abbott designated Fort Hood a FEMA support base following the tragic events of Hurricane Harvey. 

They are the 106th Rescue Wing from the New York Air National Guard and they are heroes. 

The airmen landed in Texas Monday morning and immediately headed to Houston to help with the flooding disaster. 

Msg. Christopher Raguso has been flying for over 10 years- he says in all that time he's never experienced something like Harvey before.

"What we were doing yesterday was honestly something I've never done, seen before," said Raguso, "I saw someone holding a blanket that said 'help' on it that's when it kind of got real."

The airmen staged one C-130 and three Pave Hawk HH-60 helicopters. 

In 24 hours, the airmen saved 255 people and two dogs. 

"They were on the roof, if they were on the ground we got them off the ground however we could get to them," said Raguso. 

They saw the deep murky water covering everything and say people could get sucked in by swift waves. 

Most of the people they've rescued have been without power or running water for days.  

"These people, it's hard to see, they're a pretty severely impacted community- some neighbors impacted more than others, but it was pretty bad."

The airmen were working over 12 hour long shifts in 120 MPH winds, uncertain terrain, and severe flooding. 

But they weren't going to let that stop them. 

"Certainly it was a little bit of a challenging environment, but we feel incredibly blessed to be able to be here and be able to help the folks of Texas," said Captain Troy Neinberg, who is a lawyer in New York, but serves in the Air National Guard. 

For now the airmen will take turns resting up in Fort Hood before returning to Houston for additional efforts. 

No date has been set for the airmen to return to their home state. 

 


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