KATY, TX, UNITED STATES -- “It’s like something you would see out of a movie,” said Marine Corps Sgt. Brad Coats, a reconnaissance Marine with Charlie Company, 4th Reconnaissance Battalion, 4th Marine Division, Marine Forces Reserve. “It’s something you don’t want to see, families out here have lost everything.”
Coats, a native of Houston, Texas, was sitting at his home in Dallas watching the news when Hurricane Harvey hit. Seeing the devastation, he immediately texted his 1st Sgt. to see if they were going to mobilize and provide support.
“We have the manpower and assets to do something, so why not support rescue efforts,” said Coats.
He then drove to his unit’s headquarters in San Antonio, Texas picking up a Marine from his company along the way.
“I just had to go, I’m here for my family, my friends and my local Houstonians who live here,” said Coats.
Hurricane Harvey, a category three hurricane, made land fall in Texas, Aug. 25, 2017, flooding thousands of homes and displaced over 30,000 people in the greater Houston metropolitan area, among the people affected, many were Coats’ friends and family.
“I have lot of ties to Houston,” said Coats. “I was born there, I have family there, I’ve played football there and I was recruited in to the Marine Corps out of there, so I had to help.”
Charlie Company set up a base camp at Katy High School just outside of Houston, then pushed out to locations they were needed. The Marines brought F470 Zodiac Combat Rubber Raiding Crafts along with them to assisting local law enforcement in search and rescue missions. They went door to door either assisting people in evacuating their houses or bring supplies to people in need.
“Us Texans, we love our state,” said Staff Sgt. Travis, another reconnaissance Marine with Charlie Company. “With a lot of Marines from Charlie Company local to the Texas area, we feel it’s our duty and personal responsibility to help out our fellow community.”
So far, Charlie Company has saved over 650 people in the Houston area, navigating the flooded streets of Houston in their Zodiacs.
“Luckily everyone in my family was able to avoid most of the flooding,” said Coats. “However if people are still out there trapped in their houses we’re ready and able to help.”