By Sandi Moynihan
As the military mobilizes to join Hurricane Harvey rescue efforts in Southeast Texas, the USO is ready to support service members deployed to the disaster zone.
Although all permanent USO Houston center locations have been forced to close their doors until further notice, the Mobile USO Program team has prepared two units — the Texas Sprinter and our newest “Big Blue” mobile center — in anticipation of deploying to provide food, relaxation and a momentary break to service members supporting Harvey relief efforts.
Currently, the Mobile USO units and teams are stocked, ready to go and awaiting orders in the Fort Hood area.
Harvey, now a tropical storm, made landfall Friday night in Rockport, Texas, roughly 30 miles north of Corpus Christi. Along with damaging winds and massive storm surge, Harvey caused widespread, catastrophic flooding through Southeast Texas, particularly in the greater Houston area.
According to the National Guard Facebook page, more than 3000 Texas National Guard members, 500 vehicles and 14 aircraft are currently helping the Coast Guard and local authorities with Harvey relief efforts.
Watch one of the Coast Guard’s successful Harvey rescue missions below:
Additionally, a Military.com article notes that, in the days since Harvey made landfall, several states have sent National Guard Army and Air units, as well as Fire Department rescue units, to the Houston area to assist local authorities with disaster relief.
Ahead of the storm, Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas) also mobilized 900 Texas Army and Air National Guard members, knowing that the number of service members would likely increase after the storm made landfall.
You can send a message of support and thanks directly to service members via the USO’s Campaign to Connect. Your messages will appear on screens at USO locations around the world.