The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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A&M Cadets answer the call

Photo by Courtesy of Roman Villarreal

Members of the National Guard used rafts to transport people and supplies through the more flooded areas of Houston.

Twenty-six members of the Corps of Cadets were deployed with the National Guard on Monday, Aug. 28 participating in search and rescue missions and humanitarian aid to support the victims affected by Hurricane Harvey.
All of the cadets that were deployed are currently a part of the Simultaneous Membership Program, which allows cadets to attend Army ROTC at Texas A&M and serve in the U.S. Army Reserve or Army National Guard at the same time. The Cadets are expected to return sometime in the next few days for the second week of classes.
This is the first time the Cadets have been activated to respond to an emergency situation with the National Guard, according to business honors senior Daniel Arghavani. Arghavani and seven other cadets from A&M were attached to the 1-124 Cavalry Regiment that was stationed in the Katy area and extended east to Orange County, Texas. Arghavani said the evacuees that he rescued during one of his missions this past week were appreciative for his help.
“When we were pulling people out of their apartments where the water was over 5 feet high, residents were super grateful that people were just willing to come back for them regardless,” Arghavani said “It’s really great to see what a lot of social media outlets don’t portray. There’s no tension. It’s just people helping people.”
International studies senior Noorddin Alsawfta served in Orange County, Texas where he was able to participate in the planning and logistics of the different task forces. Alsawfta said that this experience was crucial in helping him prepare for his future career as an officer in the Army.
“I’ve done lots of military training and many military exercises, but this is the first time I’ve actually been on a real life mission,” Alsawfta said. “Real people are involved, there’s real lives at stake and I got a meaningful understanding of how things work between the command staff and the guys on the ground. It taught me a lot of things.”
Renewable natural resources senior, Jackson Laughead served in the 36 infantry division that was stationed in a shelter right next to NRG Stadium. Laughead said he was worried about his classes at first, but his academic advisor was able to work everything out with his professors.
“My academic advisor is the best person in the world,” Laughead said. “She contacted every single one of my professors to let them know what I was doing and that I was excused. She promised to work with them to figure out how I can make up my work when I get back, so that was good.”
Laughead said he was thrilled to see so many donations from all of the country pour into the shelter. He said that the amount of aid received by the shelter was plentiful and really boosted the moral of the citizens affected by the storm.
“I was just so proud when we drove in and just saw signs that said ‘We are no longer accepting donations,’” Laughead said. “The people of Texas, and really every other state, have just donated so much that we have everything we need. The victims are completely taken care of at the moment and it made me really proud to see that.”

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