David Tucker, fifth from left, stands with officers at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn where he assisted in Sandy relief efforts.
continued During his second tour, Tucker noticed a huge difference in his troops and the progress that was being made. “They were in a beautiful rhythm,” he said. “They worked together wonderfully. Things were running smoothly. People were rotating in and out, getting fresh troops. It worked really well.”
In the aftermath of the storm, SEMO (State Emergency Management Office) tasked Tucker’s troops and their trucks. “They needed something, we got it there,” said Tucker, who went to Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn during the second tour and witnessed men and women working 12-hour shifts in the cold and dark, loading up necessities such as water, food, cots, and blankets into convoys, which would then be led by a NYPD police car to distribution pods, or places in need.
“I go to every single reserve center in New York State and I recruit. Those who volunteer to come to the stateside to help out have been to Afghanistan, Iraq and Desert Storm, and when I give them the pep talk in the reserve center, the hands go up to volunteer.” Tucker credits much of the Hurricane Sandy assistance success to the hard work and dedication of the Naval Militia, many of whom he has had personal experience with.
“What I tell them is not since the Civil War have we been able to function and provide for our self-defense at home,” he said. “You are always going to Afghanistan, you went to World War II, you went out of the country, and this is a chance where you can actually work with the National Guard, at home, and recover. These young men and women, they volunteer to do this. They work long hours in hazardous conditions. They are just a wonderful group of people.”
Besides serving as a site for loading, Floyd Bennett Field was a major site for the refueling of handicapped vans, emergency vehicles and buses.