Citizen-Soldiers support local communities with relief and recovery
March 4, 2012
SALYERSVILLE, Ky.--- Kentucky's motto "United we stand, divided we fall" set the stage at ground zero after severe tornadoes ravaged several communities in Eastern Kentucky March 2.
Local law enforcement officials, the Kentucky State Police and Soldiers from the Kentucky National Guard worked diligently in an effort to assist local community residents recover from the massive destruction caused by the severe weather.
Approximately 50 Soldiers from the 207th Engineer Battalion assisted the Salyersville community directing traffic, aiding in search and rescue missions and handing out food and supplies starting March 3.
"It feels a lot safer having Soldiers from the Kentucky National Guard provide a presence here in our community," said Kenna Spears, District Manager for Advance Auto Parts in Salyersville, Ky.
Spears said a combined effort by rescue workers, firefighters, and the Kentucky Guard managed to rescue two of her employees that were trapped inside the auto parts store for nearly ten hours.
"I was so relieved," she said.
Spc. Glen C. Cornett, a horizontal engineer assigned to the 207th Engineer Battalion, based in Hazard, Ky., said the mission was significant because the Guardsmen were helping in their own communities.
"I feel honored to have the opportunity to help the people here in Salyersville," he said. "At the same time I feel horrible because of the tragedy that has occurred here.
"Our unit will remain here until our task is complete," said Cornett. "I feel the citizens of Salyersville truly appreciate our Soldiers assisting in the recovery efforts."