HONORING THE TEXAS MILITARY DEPARTMENT FOR THEIR ROLE IN HURRICANE HARVEY RELIEF EFFORTS; Congressional Record Vol. 163, No. 154
(Extensions of Remarks - September 26, 2017)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E1271]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




  HONORING THE TEXAS MILITARY DEPARTMENT FOR THEIR ROLE IN HURRICANE 
                         HARVEY RELIEF EFFORTS

                                 ______
                                 

                          HON. MARC A. VEASEY

                                of texas

                    in the house of representatives

                      Tuesday, September 26, 2017

  Mr. VEASEY. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in recognition of the Texas 
Military Department for their outstanding response and service to the 
state in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
  The Texas Military Department is a unique force comprised of the 
Texas Army National Guard, the Texas Air National Guard, the Texas 
State Guard and the Domestic Operations Task Force. With little notice, 
Texas National and State Guard forces mobilized to participate in 
search and rescue missions, provide vital first aid, and assist in 
transportation and distribution support to the storm-ravaged areas of 
the Lone Star State. The 12,000 soldiers of the Texas National Guard 
are fully mobilized and completely engaged in operations serving Texans 
in need.
  Since Hurricane Harvey made landfall, the Texas National Guard has 
performed more than 16,000 rescues and evacuated more than 7,400 people 
and 1,000 animals They also ensured that the immediate needs of Texas 
residents were met by setting up over 30 points of distribution for 
food, water, and other vital commodities between Beaumont and Corpus 
Christi. There are 35 active Texas State Guard Shelter teams sheltering 
more than 8,000 evacuees at 13 shelters across the state and the Texas 
National Guard assisted in setting up three evacuation hubs. Rescue 
efforts have involved over 400 vehicles ranging from Humvees and troop 
transport vehicles to re-fuelers and wreckers. The Texas National Guard 
also deployed its 16 aircraft fleet to support rescue operations all 
along the coast, including numerous Blackhawk, Lakota, and Chinook 
helicopters.
  Not only have Texas' military forces proved crucial during the 
aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, the Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth 
located in my district continues to play a critical role in the relief 
effort. The base housed a massive influx of aircraft that was evacuated 
ahead of the storm in order to avoid damage to critical military 
weaponry. It also became a rallying point for military and other first 
responders from all over the country to organize recovery efforts. I 
cannot stress enough the importance of this strategic base and its role 
in providing a swift response during the immediate aftermath of 
Hurricane Harvey.
  The Texas Military Department's dedication to working around the 
clock in incredibly challenging conditions and its demonstrated ability 
to integrate seamlessly with active duty military troops, first 
responders, and the myriad of volunteers in the midst of one of the 
worst natural disasters to affect Texas is truly an embodiment of their 
motto of ``Texans Serving Texas.''
  The Texas Military Department's response to Hurricane Harvey 
complimented federal efforts and the countless Texans who rose to the 
challenge of helping their fellow Texans during their time of need. As 
a member of the House Armed Services Committee and a native Texan, I 
could not be more proud of my state's response during one of the worst 
natural disasters to ever affect Texas.
  I honor the Texas Military Department and the countless first 
responders who answered the call for help from their fellow Texans.

                          ____________________