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30 Army National Guard soldiers leave Columbus for Puerto Rico

Thirty members of the 285th Area Support Medical Company out of Columbus and the 137th Signal Company based in Newark prepared to leave for Puerto Rico. (WSYX/WTTE)

Thousands of troops and civilians are already on the ground, delivering more than one million meals and two million liters of water to people in Puerto Rico.

Thirty members of the Ohio Army National Guard are on their way to Puerto Rico.

ABC6/FOX28 was there as the 285th Area Support Medical Company out of Columbus and the 137th Signal Company based in Newark prepared to leave for the island, taking off from the Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base.

They leave behind families. That's the story for Captain Abby Schroll with the 285th Unit, her husband and their 17-mont-old Wyatt.

"I know that I am doing good for this nation and for the country, something I will be able to share with him when I come home," said Captain Schroll.

Many of the Ohio Army National Guard members couldn't wait to get on the plane.

"I'm excited we actually get to help people," said First Lieutenant Philip Franze with the 137th Signal Company, "that is really what this is all about."

One company will help with communication on the ground, the other focused more on medical relief.

"Our two weeks in the summer are spent doing exactly this so we get to go out and do it for real," said First Lt. Franze.

The companies don't know how long they will be in Puerto Rico, but they are prepared to stay for over a month.

Many have never been on a disaster relief mission quite like this one.

This was an advanced unit that is traveling now to get operations in place. They may send 70 more members from the two companies later on.


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