Shaw AFB helping Tyndall AFB families

Homes destroyed by Michael

South Carolina Radio Network
November 01, 2018 - 10:40 am

NOVEMBER 1, 2018 BY RENEE SEXTON (South Carolina Radio Network)

About ten families evacuated from Tyndall Air Force Base because of Hurricane Michael are calling Shaw Air Force Base home temporarily.

Source: Shaw AFB Facebook

“They were told the storm was coming, to evacuate to Maxwell Air Force Base, which is in Montgomery (AL), to pack for 72 hours. We all know the rest of that story. There’s nothing to go back to,” said former Sumter Mayor Steve Creech, who now is the Chairman of the Military Affairs Committee of the Sumter Chamber of Commerce.

“You’ve seen the videos. Those houses are demolished,” he said.

So the Shaw-Sumter Community Council started organizing a relief effort for those families from Tyndall AFB who lost everything.

“What we’re trying to do is something that will help them and help them immediately — is to collect money. We have a 501c3 set up and it’s called the Support of Shaw,” Creech said. “The easiest thing is monetary gifts. When you start collecting canned goods and diapers and that kind of stuff and used clothing, that creates another problem in itself.”

Source: Tyndall AFB Facebook

The families have been temporarily relocated to Shaw AFB until they can be reassigned elsewhere or can return to Tyndall AFB. Engineers closed 80 percent of the buildings on base because of damage.

“They’ve got so many of them that they’re trying to work out,” Creech said. “In the meantime, they’re still trying to get Tyndall operational again. They still have aircraft down there that need to be flown. The Air Force has folks down there that are setting that base up on a temporary basis just like we would do if we went to the Middle East and had to set up a base somewhere.”

Source: Tyndall AFB Facebook

“This week, the number of Airmen at Tyndall working to recover our base passed 1,000. Our fellow Airmen have come from all over the country to partner with some of our own who remained behind. I couldn’t be more proud of how much this team has accomplished in such a short time,” reads a Facebook post from Col Brian S. Laidlaw, 325th Fighter Wing Commander.

Source: Tyndall AFB Facebook

“This past week, we opened our gates again for residents to access their personal property in housing and storage,” the post continued.

During a tour of the damage by ranking Air Force officials, one officer told the group he was stationed at Shaw AFB when Hurricane Hugo hit in 1989.

“Keep these folks in your prayers,” said Creech. “We want to make their stay here in South Carolina one that they’ll never forget. We want to make it an enjoyable one and if we spoil them a little bit, so what?”

Send donations to:

The Support of Shaw

P.O. Box 1449

Sumter, S.C. 29151

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