LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Members of the Louisiana National Guard and Air Guard have been helping officials all over the state conduct medical testing and food distribution during the pandemic. These National Guard soldiers come from Louisiana communities.
“Self-less service is something that draws us,” said Capt. Julian Green of Lake Charles. “To be able to step in at this time in history is just absolutely incredible and I know it’s a story that will carry on for a very long time.”
Capt. Green just finished an in-state tour of duty with Louisiana’s National Guard, helping out Jefferson Parish officials through the HHC 2-156th Infantry Battalion. Guard troops were essential in distributing food to those in need during this pandemic.
“The average age of our guardsmen are 22 years old," said Lt. Amos Jenkins. "Most of them had jobs that were impacted by the economic shut down and the COVID-19 pandemic so they’re appreciative that they can help out their community its impacting them personally and they’re happy that they can give back.”
The National Guard’s job is made a little easier by using soldiers from within the state.
“Many of our soldiers are from right here in our community,” said LTC Marc Prymek. "They live here they work here. They are your neighbors and your friends. "
Green says there’s nothing like helping others in need.
“You know, after putting that last bag of food in someone’s vehicle and seeing their reaction, and getting that 'thank you” and thumbs up...it means a lot and it feels good."
Whether its overseas in the mid-east or right here at home, National Guard members stand ready to help the nation. The Louisiana National Guard is headed up by Southwest Louisiana educator Keith Waddell.