OKLAHOMA CITY - While much of the country is focusing on the lurking menace of Hurricane Irma, Oklahoma's citizen soldiers are still on the ground in Texas helping Hurricane Harvey survivors get back on their feet.
Wednesday, News 4 got an update from the National Guard Command Center in northeast Oklahoma City where they say they're proud of the soldiers' quick actions.
"On a holiday weekend, we called and less than 48 hrs, 2,000 citizens soldiers and airmen responded to the needs to the neighbors to the south. I think that shows great testament to what they are willing to do whenever they are called," said Brig. Gen. Louis Wilham.
Among others, the Oklahoma National Guard sent an air medical evacuation squadron that helped with medical needs in Texas.
Other units loaded trucks and planes that sent the life-blood of supplies needed in the midst of Harvey's wreckage. At this point in the recovery, there are still 1,000 Oklahoma Guard members on the ground in the Beaumont and Corpus Christi areas.
"Those units are performing what we call 'point of distribution' or pod sites. That's literally handing out relief supplies like ice water and food to those communities that need em," said Gen. Wilham.
From inside the command center, National Guard commanders have had their eyes on Oklahoma's response since the beginning.
"There's a command and control function that takes place right here. Accountability is at the forefront of our minds. We watch all of our soldiers and airmen as they start the processes from call-up all the way through the deployment, mobilization convoy, ultimately where they are on the ground fulfilling the requests and the needs of our neighboring state," said Col. Bradley White.
General Wilham tells News 4 the Oklahoma response couldn't have gone so well without the complete support of the guard members' families and employers.