No one signs up for the military thinking they’re going to deploy to New York City.
But that’s exactly what thousands of National Guard troops did last week when Superstorm Sandy pummeled the business capitol of the world causing mass power outages, billions of dollars in damage and leaving thousands of New Yorkers temporarily homeless.
And — as always — the USO is there to support them.The USO of Metropolitan New York received a call on Friday from the National Guard’s 369th Sustainment Brigade — which may be better known as the Harlem Hellfighters of World War I fame — asking if it could have Mobile USO support for troops working in the aftermath of the storm. The USO then spent the weekend working on the logistics.
On Monday morning, a four-vehicle USO convoy left Dover, Delaware, carrying thousands of pounds of supplies destined for New York City. The USO of North Carolina’s Mobile USO – which is also towing a trailer – traveled to Dover early Monday morning to meet up with a second Mobile USO from the USO’s regional office. Two passenger vans already in Dover were to join the convoy on an afternoon trip up to New York.
Once the USO staffers arrived in Dover, they loaded up their vehicles with supplies from USO warehouses as far south as North Carolina along with items generously donated by pharmacy giant CVS and items already on hand at USO warehouses on the East Coast. The convoy is packed with easy-to-distribute food like Slim Jims, Girl Scout Cookies and “things you can nuke [in the microwave]” as one USO senior staffer described it. The convoy will also packed supplies like toiletries, playing cards and other items to keep troops entertained during down time.
It should all come in handy for the more than 7,000 National Guardsmen who are cleaning up and maintaining order in the city.
Last week, you read a story about how a volunteer from USO of Metropolitan New York walked 50 blocks to open a center after the storm for first responders.
Now, the reinforcements are coming.
You can continue to follow this story on Twitter @the_USO.
—Eric Brandner, Director of Story Development
It’s not too late to help the USO support National Guard troops who are in the thick of Superstorm Sandy relief. Click here to donate.