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Third Army Soldiers send aid to Haitian relief effort

Jan 25, 2010

By Sgt. Beth Lake, Third Army/U.S. Army Central Public Affairs

During a time when turning on the television brings images of a country so torn apart by a recent earthquake that the true devastation is still unknown, the Soldiers of Third Army/U.S. Army Central are doing their part in hopes of bringing aid.

These Soldiers have stepped forward, placing people first, organizing a drive to collect goods as well as looking through their excess inventory to send help.

Sgt. 1st Class Samuel Carr, Third Army Supply noncommissioned officer in charge, gathered Soldiers from throughout the command together after hearing that the Defense Reutilization Marketing Offices at Ft. Gillem, Ga., could send any excess equipment to Haiti.

"We had some excess cots in our connexes," Carr said. "We also had some light sets. Both of these are being packed up and turned into DRMO to be sent for disaster relief."

In response to Carr's call for help, Spc. Nicholas Stoecklein, Third Army G-3 maintenance specialist, has spent the past week unloading cots and preparing them for shipment.

"I have been out here driving a forklift and working with the other NCOs to unload this equipment and get it ready." Stoecklein said. "We are all really upbeat about this. Morale is really high and we feel good to be helping."

Sgt. Anesa Martinez, Third Army knowledge management noncommissioned officer, volunteered to load supplies.

"It feels really good that we get to do something," Martinez said. "We are building a bond with another nation. It shows we don't just care about ourselves, but we will take care of others no matter where you live."

Over at Third Army Headquarters at Ft. McPherson, Ga., Staff Sgt. Jerry Pierre, Secretary of the General Staff operations nco and native of Haiti, has organized a drive to collect supplies to send to his home country.

"This is something I've always wanted to do from the time my people were loading small boats to enter the United States just to better their lively hood," Pierre said. "Through the relief efforts, we have the opportunity to better a country and the people in it with something as small as clean sheets and clean water."

Pierre still has family in Haiti to include his 84 year-old Grandmother, older brothers, aunts, and a couple of cousins that he has not heard from yet. Though the earthquake has had a devastating impact on the country, he is confident they will rise above this tragedy.

"The people of Haiti have been though some extreme obstacles and yet in my opinion we are like a diamond in the rubble," Pierre said. "Just as victims arise 11 days after this tragedy from deep debris singing and praying, we as a country are going to rise and shine just as bright as the rest of the world."

As a Soldier, Pierre explains the relief efforts will have a tremendous impact on people's daily lives.

"From a Soldier's stand point it shows the greatness of generosity and how we can better a country that had nothing." Pierre said. "Thanks to our efforts a family can enjoy a meal together in the comfort of their own home."

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