The Advance-Titan

UWO students provide hurricane relief

Last week when Hurricane Irma hit, many students across Wisconsin involved in the National Guard, Army Reserve and ROTC were called down to help with relief efforts.

Some of the students sent included UW Oshkosh students, but although students were on active orders, not all of them went down to Florida.

Senior Miranda Monson has been in the National Guard for over three years and said she joined because both her father and grandfather were in the military.

Monson said on the Friday before Hurricane Irma hit, she was told to pack for up to 60 days and that she could be one of those sent for support.

“My orders began after my drill weekend on Monday,” Monson said. “They called up before so we would be ready for when the hurricane hit.”

Monson’s convoy was told to stand down five minutes before leaving, and they remained on active orders for the rest of the week.

Monson said being called into active orders can happen anytime the community needs help and they can’t really tell if they’ll be called down again after being told to stand down.

Monson said although it can be stressful between school and having to be ready to go any second, the leaders help keep it calm.

“Honestly, it’s hectic at first but having good leadership in the 1157 Trans Company made it all the easier,” Monson said. “It’s also stressful being a student in this situation because school gets put on pause so you can help others who are in desperate need.”

Although not a lot of people can travel down to Florida to help physically, Monson said that doing small things can still be a big help.

“There are non-profit organizations that they can donate to, to help the people down in Florida,” Monson said. “But it does help to keep them in our prayers.”

Sophomore Lane Fox was one of the National Guard students who went down to Florida to help.

As the National Guard should always be ready, Lane said he was ready and prepared to be called down to Florida.

“It’s something that we are always ready for,” Fox said. “Our slogan is ‘always ready, always there.’”

Fox said he joined the National Guard as a medic because he wanted to help people, and he uses his experiences now to help train for his part-time job as a police officer.

“I use it as a training tool; it’s something that I enjoy doing,” Fox said. “I like going out with the guys and making sure that they’re safe and they’re taken care of while they’re doing their mission.”

Fox was down in Florida for seven days in the area of Broward County, specifically Pembroke Pines.

Fox said in the area he was stationed there was more damage from trees as opposed to flooding in the north, so they helped with cleanup.

“We cleaned up a lot of the parks throughout the county and then we went to gated communities,” Fox said. “I went to a gated community in Pembroke Pines, where we provided aid in the form of food, water and ice to residents that could drive up.”

Fox said as well as providing resources at places where people could drive up, they also went and did house checks.

While down in Florida, he said he admired the spirit and greatfulness of the people living in the areas affected.

“What gave me a better perspective was the resilience of the people down there,” Fox said. “It didn’t matter if they were young or old. They were very thankful that we were there.”

Situations like Hurricane Irma are the main reasons why Fox enjoys being a part of the National Guard.

“This is exactly why I joined,” Fox said. “Being able to respond to a domestic issue and, you know, provide aid as much as I can.”

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Independent Student Newspaper of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
UWO students provide hurricane relief