OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. – Airmen with the 20th Intelligence Squadron partnered with civilian and industry volunteers to provide assistance with relief efforts to those impacted by recent, catastrophic flooding in Nebraska and Iowa.
Their support began March 16 when members of the 20th IS aided with sandbagging efforts in an attempt to fortify buildings around Offutt Air Force Base.
The next day, teams began looking for additional volunteer opportunities. This led them to the Bellevue Christian Center, where Airmen have now volunteered more than 350 hours to sort and distribute clothes, cleaning supplies, toys and food.
“My heart was full of pride when I saw how much everyone was willing to help donate and how quickly our community pulled together,” said Tech. Sgt. Cheryl, 20th IS NCO in charge of advanced target development and the Airman who initially started the volunteer effort at Bellevue Christian Center.
Cheryl said in addition to the sorting and distribution, she and her team have provided donations and escorted families around the center to help them stock up on essential items.
“I honestly could not believe how much people had donated – time, money and supplies,” said Airman 1st Class Kathryn, 20th IS member and community volunteer. “It was great knowing how willing this community was to help people in need.”
The importance of this experience is not lost on Senior Airman Danyal, 20th IS member and community volunteer.
“It was truly great – the transformation of turning something grim into something amazing through a unified community,” he said. “This truly made me feel proud of how dedicated our community is to giving full support to help others in need regardless of the outcome.”
Another area impacted by the flooding was the nearby community of Glenwood. Senior Master Sgt. Dan, 20th IS AFP4 program manager and a fellow Glenwood resident since 2017, wanted to do his part to help a community that welcomed him with open arms.
“I stopped by our town hall the first morning fresh water was lost in Glenwood to see how I, or the squadron, could help out,” said Dan. “When I noticed they were overwhelmed collecting and handing out water donations, I stepped in to give them a hand and have been there every day since.”
Dan was able to assist with water collection and distribution, while his wingmen raised funds to purchase additional pallets of water for Glenwood.
With support from squadron leadership, Dan has been able to use his afternoons to give back to the community that has given him and his family so much since moving to the area.
“The moving truck was in the driveway and every single person in our neighborhood stopped to introduce themselves and let us know if we ever needed anything they were there for us,” said Dan. “My family and I have not been affected by the flooding, but I wanted to do whatever I could to help out.”
The 20th IS will continue to support relief efforts during the clean-up process.