A powerful, quarter-mile wide F-3 tornado ripped through the Texas border town of Eagle Pass on April 24, killing seven, injuring dozens, leaving hundreds homeless and destroying an elementary school and area homes.

Gov. Rick Perry called out area first responders, including the Texas National Guard. Fortunately, many of the Guard Soldiers were already stationed in Eagle Pass, assisting the U.S. Border Patrol as part of Operation Jump Start.

Sgt. Levy Womble and Spc. Manuel Chavez were two of these Soldiers. At the time of the storm, they were off duty at a local restaurant. They quickly responded, arriving at Rosita Valley Elementary School, shocked to find it completely destroyed. They immediately sprang into action, helping to remove the dead and comforting the survivors. Soon, 80 other Guard Soldiers joined them assisting with area security and doing whatever was needed.

Gov. Perry said he was impressed with the outstanding response effort by the Soldiers and other first responders.

Page last updated Fri April 27th, 2007 at 00:00