West Columbia, SC (WLTX) - One multi-state task force with 25 National Guard soldiers including nine from South Carolina including Sgt. Bradley Benson and Specialist Tristan Shirley returned home Thursday, touching down at Eagle Aviation in West Columbia.
"I've never been so proud to wear a uniform in my life until I went to Puerto Rico,” Shirley said. "(They’re) running off of a lot of generators right now, so I think power is going to be the main issue.
The group spent over a month assisting with recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
"I can remember when we were in the mountains and there was a family that was coming up and asking me for food to eat and water. I didn't have anything, but an MRE to give them, but I handed my MRE out and I felt like I helped them the best that I could,” he said.
And while the island and it's people have many obstacles to hurdle Benson and Shirley said their hope for a better tomorrow and American spirit are unparalleled.
"Real proud people. They're always giving us the thumbs up,” Benson said.
"They beat our hospitality by far,” said Shirley.