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Guard Life - LabanJohnson.com

Guard Life

This site is a work in progress, building it while building many other things, so bear with me! – LJ

This page, when completed, will cover:

  1. Why I joined, what it’s been like for me in the Texas State Guard, overall.
  2. My Role during Hurricane Havey
  3. How you can join the guard and serve your fellow Texas. If you’re not in Texas, you should move! 🙂 Otherwise, see if your state is one of the 23 states with an organized militia and if so, I encourage you to join!


My Role During Hurricane Harvey

It was my honor and privilege to serve the people of the State of Texas during Hurricane Harvey.

I was assigned to “ETN Team 4.” ETN stands for Evacuee Tracking Network. No, it’s not a chip, it is not the mark of the beast (lol), its just a bracelet with a barcode. That barcode is saved in a database with whatever name the evacuee gives us to get on the bus or plane or boat in an organized evacuation. That way family members can find one another more quickly if they get separated in the chaos.

The team I was on helped to evacuate Robstown, Texas the day before and the day of the storm. I was really pleased to see so many people self-evacuating the Corpus Christi and surrounding areas as we headed down there because I know that evacuation saved lives. Our team evacuated those who didn’t have a ride out on comfortable coach buses to shelters deep inland.

After Harvey’s landfall, we along with another team evacuated several storm shelters in small towns around Victoria which were without running water and running low on generator fuel and were possibly in danger of flooding.

We were flown into the winds on Chinook helicopters to go to Galveston which needed backup to help evacuate their own and the 9,000 or so people on cruise ships which were scheduled to come back in. However, the eye of the storm moved back over the Gulf just off of Galveston so we couldn’t land there. We stopped in Victoria overnight, and then Angleton for a few hours, then finally landed in Galveston. Since the cruise ships didn’t come in as expected, we helped a few stranded families off of the island onto C-130’s back to Dallas to catch connecting flights home.

After that assignment, we went to Bush Airport where a full M*A*S*H-like tent hospital was set up. This was a first of its kind cooperation between local, state and federal resources, a medical transportation hub where patients can be brought in, treated there, or prepared for treatment and flown anywhere else. Fortunately, the Houston medical center was fully operational and able to directly take on the influx patients from affected areas. All of their contingency planning paid off

Finally, a few of us went to Beaumont to relief an Air National Guard communications team that was providing data and radio services to the Army base of search and rescue operations.

There are photos of my Harvey experience in my Instagram feed. You’ll have to do some scrolling down to August/September 2017.

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