Eastover, SC (WLTX) - More than 150 South Carolina National Guardsmen returned home from Puerto Rico Thursday.
They helped citizens still recovering from the wrath of Hurricane Maria.
Nearly six weeks after the hurricane, 70 percent of Puerto Rico remains without power
“Mainly just a bunch of downed trees,” Lieutenant Keenan Tallent said of what he saw on the island. “A lot of power lines down. People needing assistance is what we saw and that’s what we were there to do.”
The soldiers were there for 32 days clearing debris from roadways and helping rebuild infrastructure.
“Just seeing the smiles on their faces whenever we’d get done with a certain area,” Tallent explained. “That was probably the most rewarding.”
“It’s good to see them,” Sergeant David Leggett said of being back home.
“It was joy and relief and just excitement and just seeing my little girls light up too,” Courtney Leggett said of her husband’s service. “I am proud of him.”
Everyone who went volunteered for the assignment. The South Carolina Soldiers are assigned to the 122nd Engineer Battalion headquartered in Edgefield and the 178th Engineer Battalion in Rock Hill.
They were part of a multi-state Engineer Taskforce comprised of Soldiers from the North Carolina, Louisiana and the New York Army National Guard.