The American Red Cross got some help from Marine volunteers to distribute free cleaning supplies to victims of Hurricane Florence in front of the Marine Corps Exchange on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Sept. 28.
Sgt. Darrell Shen, 2nd Dental Battalion, came out to pick up some supplies but decided to help unload the truck as it pulled into the parking lot.
“Initially, I was here to get supplies myself, but when I saw the line, there were people who needed it more than me, so I decided to stay and help,” Shen said.
The free supplies included flashlights and batteries, tarps, cleaning kits, water, gloves, bins, trash bags, masks and even bug repellent.
After unloading the supplies from the truck, Shen and others, like Gunnery Sgt. Louis D’Amico, of 8th Communication Battalion, and Pfc. Jhalen Lozada, of Headquarters and Support Battalion, Bravo Company, helped pass out the supplies and even carried the loaded bins to waiting vehicles.
“This is just a way we can give back,” Shen said.
The Red Cross had two box trucks with supplies Friday after quickly going through a truck on Thursday at Camp Lejeune. The Red Cross will be in front of the commissary at Marine Corps Air Station New River with another truckload of supplies beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Terry Gentry, a manager with the Cape Fear Area Chapter of the Red Cross that serves Camp Lejeune and MCAS New River, has lived in the area since 1999 when he retired from the Navy. He said he’s seen plenty of hurricanes and the damage they can do.
“But, I’ve seen nothing to this magnitude,” he said. “It’s good that people are getting the materials they need to recover.”
Alex Lopez and Maly Rivera traveled from Albany, N.Y., to volunteer with the Red Cross, driving the truck with the supplies from Goldsboro to Camp Lejeune on Friday.
“We both retired from the Army; we both volunteer with the fire department; and we both volunteer with the Red Cross,” Lopez said.
Gentry said he appreciated the Red Cross volunteers as well as those Marines who showed up for supplies, saw the need, improvised and helped unload the truck.
“The Marines have been fantastic,” Gentry said.