By George StringhamJanuary 7, 2019
ALBANY, Ga. - The Army defines selfless service as putting the welfare of the nation, the Army and your subordinates before your own. It goes on to say the basic building block of selfless service is the commitment of each team member to go a little further, endure a little longer, and look a little closer to see how he or she can add to the effort.
That's the case of Triniece Wright, a program analyst from the New York District.
When Wright deployed to southwest Georgia Nov. 9, to be a quality assurance representative for the Corps' debris removal mission, which resulted from Hurricane Michael's impacts to the region, she wasn't expecting to also be in a situation where she was going to be calling first responders.
Wright explained that on the morning of Dec. 12, while working at a temporary debris management site in Baker County, she received a call from her supervisor, Miguel Nieto, redirecting her to a new location to be a quality assurance representative at a site where contractors were loading debris onto trucks. While enroute to the address, she came across a common site, smoke.
"I was accustomed to seeing smoke from people burning leaves or farmers burning debris left from the storm," Wright explained, "but this smoke was a thick, dark smoke."
She looked closer and realized the smoke was coming from a residence, not somebody burning leaves or trees, at which point she called 911.
While waiting for the first responders to arrive, she heard some popping sounds. She was later told the popping sounds she heard was ammunition "cooking off."
"I felt as though I was in a combat zone," Wright said.
First responders arrived a few minutes later, and she provided them with what she knew. Wright then verified she could continue to her new assignment, considering the situation was in the hands of the appropriate authorities.
"Events like what happened that day makes it feel good to be here," Wright said. "Makes you feel good about the job. People in the communities down here are very friendly. They were personable and freely opened up to us from outside the area."
ABOUT THE MISSION: Under the direction of the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency and Federal Emergency Management Agencies as part of the FEMA debris mission assignment, the Corps of Engineers received the debris removal mission to remove an estimated five million cubic yards of Hurricane Michael storm debris for the 13 southwestern Georgian counties of Baker, Calhoun, Crisp, Decatur, Dougherty, Early, Grady, Lee, Miller, Mitchell, Seminole, Terrell and Worth.