Local National Guard members activated for Ida

One of the most destructive hurricanes in Louisiana’s history hit on Aug. 26.

Hurricane Ida tore her way through south Louisiana, leaving many without homes, food or electricity.

Given the extensive storm damage, Louisiana’s National Guard was activated to help out those who had to flee their homes and lost everything. Many of those guardsmen are the people in our everyday lives.

Willie Wright, a Grambling student, is one of the soldiers on hurricane orders.

“It was very sudden, but that’s how it happens. They just call and you go,” Wright said about being activated to go to south Louisiana to help.

The many different units were activated from Louisiana’s National Guard, each have different tasks.

According to Wright, his unit’s main task has been to drive around and survey the areas for people who need help, fallen trees and any other damage that Hurricane Ida caused.

“Fortunately, the area we’re in, we haven’t come across anything too bad. Though I know, there is going to be a lot of rebuilding for The Boot, but it’s nothing we can’t come back from,” Wright said.

Wright said since the storm didn’t hit the entire state, the cleanup process is going a little faster than expected.

“There is so many of us here,” he said. “I think that’s good, you know? That means that we have more than enough people to offer help, to give food out, just to help them get through this.”

Other unit tasks include doing search and rescue missions for the people still trapped in the floodwaters, giving out COVID tests to the residents, and giving food and water to those in need.

Many Grambling State students also are from south Louisiana, and had to deal with the stress of worrying about their families and their homes, on top of trying to start the semester on the right foot.

Last year’s hurricane along with the pandemic caused Grambling to cancel a full week of school to make sure students and staff were safe. Though classes were not cancelled this time, some professors are allowing students time to make up work and any other assignments.

If any student who is stressed about everything that is happening, assistance can be found with campus counselors, who can also offer advice for students who are physically in need anything for themselves or for their families during this difficult time. The Student Counseling and Wellness Resource Center can be reached at 318-274-3277.

Willie Wright