Thankful, Special People Are Part of the Job

Staff Sgt. Timothy Bellinger
Staff Sgt. Timothy Bellinger, of Cumming, Ga., drove an 83-year-old woman home from a hospital when the storm rendered roads impassable to car traffic. (Georgia National Guard)

This week, On Your Guard salutes the more than 2,800 National Guard members who were called to duty during last month’s winter storm that wreaked havoc for residents across nine states.

When Soldiers spend days assisting stranded motorists, pulling vehicles out of ditches, and transporting residents safely back to their homes, they often receive hugs and words of thanks. And sometimes they come across some pretty special, interesting characters.

Here’s an excerpt from a National Guard Bureau article detailing just such an experience that two Georgia Soldiers had during their response:

Army National Guard members of the 560th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade based in Cumming, Ga., were in their second day of icy patrols during the storm when two of them completed a special mission.

SSG Timothy Bellinger had been with the 560th BFSB for just two months when he and SPC Derek Owens found themselves in a Humvee travelling the icy streets of north Georgia.

After a morning spent conducting route reconnaissance and assisting stranded motorists, they were directed to Northside Hospital to transport patients who could not travel home on the icy roads.

Hospital staff asked Bellinger and Owens if they could help an 83-year old woman get home. The Georgia Guardsmen immediately agreed.

“She asked me if she could drive,” said Bellinger. “I said, ‘Well, ma’am, maybe not this time.’”

Bellinger reported that his smiling passenger appeared to enjoy the ride.

“She said it was pretty cool.”

Excerpt and photo courtesy of the National Guard Bureau’s news archive; original article written by Steve Marshall.

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