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Fort Bragg Soldiers Go to War Against Flooding

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FORT BRAGG — Fort Bragg soldiers are stationed around the world on humanitarian relief missions. Their latest mission involves some Blackhawk helicopters at home, providing air relief where it is desperately needed.

Fort Bragg pilot Rob Fleming is at war with the water, and his fight is personal. The Goldsboro native has family members who are now flood victims.

"It means a lot to be able to come over and assist in any way I can," said Fleming.

Fleming and other members of Fort Bragg's 82nd Airborne Division are heading to places not reachable by cars. Their first stop was to a logistic support area in Kinston.

Their cargo was food and cots to be taken to areas that need it most.

"We're trying to get it to the elderly or those individuals who cannot get out and move around town. Because of the water, you have to bring it to them," said Maj. Chuck McGould.

Guardsmen from North Carolina and four other states help coordinate the transports. It is a huge effort.

"We didn't know if it was going to hit the coast of Georgia as well, so we were already in that kind of mode. When it missed us, we took the assets we had and came up here to work," said 1st Lt. Bradley Mcaugley of the Georgia National Guard.

Many of the soldiers will never see the flood victims they are helping, but it gives them comfort knowing they are helping fellow Americans and fellow North Carolinians.

"It feels good. We are constantly sent around the world to helps others. It is very rare that you get to help your own community," said Capt. Michael Burns.

Over the last couple of days, the Army has delivered over 50,000 meals, 39,000 pounds of water and more than 70,000 pounds of sand bags.

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Melissa Buscher, Reporter
Michael Joyner, Photographer
John Clark, Web Editor

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