Veterans Clearing the Way For Rebuilding NYC

“America, it is time to focus on nation-building here at home.” – President Obama

I was thinking about this declaration last week as images of the devastation from Hurricane Sandy poured in on the news. With billions of dollars in damages and displacement of millions, rebuilding the east coast will be an enormous and costly undertaking. And before the rebuilding can even begin, the wreckage from the storm must first be cleared away.

It has been over a week since Marine Corps soldiers arrived in the New York City boroughs to help residents sort through the devastation that has replaced what used to be their neighborhoods. Housed aboard ships anchored offshore, soldiers have flown into the city each day to assist with cleanup and deliver food to residents.

Marines have surveyed damage, going door to door to clear debris, remove irreparably damaged possessions and appliances, tear down damaged drywall, and gut houses to make way for rebuilding efforts. They have pumped water out of waterlogged basements and helped with the restoration of crucial transportation infrastructure.

Our servicemen and women have been a source of hope and inspiration to people they are helping each day. “We are privileged to have them,” one New York resident said. “It gives you a sense of protection knowing that they are here in our time of need.”

While often our veterans are remembered for their heroic actions in combat, I am also thankful for their heroic work helping to repair and rebuild damage done, both here and abroad.

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David Dejewski

This is awesome! I was just doing this this past weekend in Baltimore. These guys might have a career waiting for them in real estate rehab once they’re out. ­čÖé

The fact that the Corps allowed them to do this in uniform is great for public relations. Serving America in many ways…

Terrence (Terry) Hill

It’s great that these Marines got the chance to serve others, which I’m sure is why they joined the Marines. There is nothing quite as rewarding as serving those in need. Just ask the Americorps members. We all need to have this spirit of service.I hope that Habitat for Humanity will concentrate their efforts in the NY/NJ area now that the Gulf Coast is pretty much on the mend.

Amy L. Singer

As a Marine Veteran, and currently working on a project to improve the public safety communications network throughout NYC, I loved reading this story.