More Hoosiers heading to Texas to help

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – As the victims of Hurricane Harvey begin the cleanup process, more Hoosiers are heading down to help.

The Indianapolis-based 38th Infantry Division of the Indiana National Guard sent 87 people down to Texas this weekend to assist the Texas National Guard.

“We’re here. We are the people in the United States, we are here to help each other,” 38th Infantry Division Master Sgt. Brad Staggs said.

Staggs added the group is trained for emergency responses from tornadoes here in Indiana to floods in Texas.

“This is no different. We are just going out to help our neighbors. Help Americans who need the help,” he said.

The group deployed this weekend is prepared to stay in Texas for up to 60 days.

“Recovery efforts can take some time and it’s not necessarily quick,” 38th Infantry Division Lt. Col. Todd Townsend. “It’s based on conditions. So when those conditions are met we will continue to work hard with our partners in Texas to meet those conditions and we won’t leave until our mission is complete there.”

Captain Alan Sladek with the Salvation Army also left Indianapolis for Texas this weekend. He said he’ll be focused on providing hurricane survivors with emotional and spiritual help.

“It won’t be a very easy task,” Sladek said. “It’s very rewarding and it’s my pleasure to do it. I love doing it. I love talking to the people and helping the survivors get through the next few weeks.”

The Salvation Army has tripled its response efforts this weekend as a result of how much damage the hurricane caused, Sladek said.

He added that all the new faces coming to Texas will provide much more than just supplies.

“It means hope. In the end it means hope. And that is what I want to take down there is hope and to show hope to everyone down there,” Sladek said.