Vermont National Guard deploy to aid Irma victims

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SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. Governor Phil Scott visited the Vermont National Guard as they were packing up to head South to the Virgin Islands.

"We have an ample amount of volunteers that want to do whatever they can, it's part of our DNA here in Vermont, they want to give back." said Governor Phil Scott.

The team of twenty soldiers and airmen consisting of nurses, physician assistants, medical administration, combat medics and a doctor will be providing assistance to Hurricane Irma relief efforts in St. Thomas Island, Virgin Islands.

The Governor does his best to visit each team before they deploy for relief efforts. He says there were multiple requests for aid following Hurricane's Irma and Harvey.

"This emergency situation throughout the South and in the Virgin Islands is long and extended, this isn't going to happen overnight. We'll be there for them, many states were there for us ( during tropical storm Irene ) and we do want to give back." said Gov. Scott.

Scott praised the volunteerism of the team, as it only took a couple hours for this trip to be filled.

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At the Army National Guard Armory in Winooski, bags are being packed and loaded for a 30 day deployment.

"We are just ready to go and help. We've been training a long time for this," said Spc.Travis Dube of the Vt. National Guard.

Travis Dube has served for the national guard for 7 years. He says he's packing for his first deployment.
20 soldiers and airmen are heading south to what's left of the Virgin Islands after being hit by one of the strongest hurricanes recorded in the Atlantic; Hurricane Irma. The category five storm hit the islands last week. It took several lives, flattened homes, and devastated the islands main hospital.

"That is why they need medical personnel to assist because they have an inoperable hospital," said Mjr. Michael Korczykowski of the Vt. National Guard

"We've seen hurricanes and bad storms here in the past with Sandy and the horrible snow storms we had, and I think it is a great opportunity to help people because I am in the position to help," said Spc. Mary Charnley of the Vt. National Guard.

The unit, made up of mostly Vermonters, will be setting up a medical aid camp, assisting personnel already on the islands.

"We can conserve the fighting strength so that they can continue the recovery efforts and continue to treat the local national casualties and assist anything the Virgin Islands need," said Mjr. Korczykowski.