LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The National Guard has had boots on the ground in the Lake Area for weeks now, helping with the recovery efforts after both Hurricane Laura and Delta.
Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser stopped by the Lake Charles headquarters Thursday morning to thank the men and women in uniform.
“Out early, hot conditions, horrible conditions," Nungesser said about the soldiers. “They do it with a smile, they never say no, and I don’t know if Louisiana would have survived these storms going back to Katrina without the National Guard.”
Energy Transfer, Got Our Troops foundation and the New Orleans Saints donated a total of $20,000 split among 103 soldiers whose homes and families were affected by the storms.
In every Saints home game, if the quarterback does not get sacked, Energy Transfer donates $5,000 to Got Our Troops Foundation.
Nungesser said knowing [the soldiers] will be deployed overseas, it’s incredible how dedicated they are to serving the community, especially Louisiana natives.
"I just couldn’t imagine leaving my family behind and going overseas and put my life in harm’s way to protect this country. I’d do it, but they do it every day and it’s just incredible.”
Sgt. Jacob Arceneaux said the donation gives a small peace of mind for his family in Mire, Louisiana.
“It’s gonna help me out a lot, especially getting my family to start rebuilding the barns and stuff like that," Arceneaux said. "Any little bit helps right now, especially with all the damages and stuff that’s going on.”
Nungesser said our troops always rise to the occasion, risking their lives every day to protect our country, but for our soldiers, this is home.
Coming together is a given and they’re confident we’ll get through this.
“Louisiana’s very special as a community because we always come together," Arceneaux said. "And we definitely help each other out. It’s really nice to see strangers come to help strangers and Americans being Americans.”
Colonel Scott Desormeaux said he couldn’t be more proud.
“The Guard is here at the local level and so then when the community can go ahead and respond to help our guard soldiers, it just it shows what a special relationship we have," Desormeaux said. “I’ve never seen anything like this in lake Charles and the very next day, the people were out there just getting about the business of rebuilding their community. It just speaks to who we are in Louisiana, it really does.”