Happy Hooligans Sandbag After Shift to Help Fellow Airmen

  • Published
  • By By Spc. Jessica Raasch
  • NDNG Public Affairs
Members of the North Dakota Air National Guard came together April 7 on their own time to save the home of a fellow Air Guard family.

Senior Master Sgt. Sandi and Master Sgt. Charlie Renville's house in Harwood, N.D., lies along the Red River. The 2011 flood marked the third consecutive year the Renville family had to sandbag to prevent damage to their home.

More than 50 volunteers from the community, including off-duty Airmen and students from Sheyenne Middle School, met to sandbag around the Renville house. The quick response by the community helped complete the job in less than two hours.

"In 2009, it took us two days and 30 yards of sand to do this," Charlie said.

Nearly 500 Soldiers and Airmen have been activated to fight the flood across North Dakota. Even after working 12-hour shifts, Airmen volunteered to protect their fellow Happy Hooligan family members.

"We all work together. Last night I was working a swing shift," said Tech. Sgt. Todd Helm, with the 119th Wing. "You can just tell the Guard mentality out here."

Members of the community helped at the Cass County warehouse filling sandbags and received sandbags to use to protect their homes in return for all of their hard work.

"Just knowing that you're helping someone who (may) lose their home is a great feeling," said one of the student volunteers.