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Gov. Wolf sends off Pa. National Guard members to help Harvey victims

LOWER SWATARA TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Pennsylvania continues to answer the call for help.

More than 50 members of the Pennsylvania National Guard head to Texas from Harrisburg International Airport to continue to provide assistance after Hurricane Harvey.

Maj. Gen. Tony Carrelli, Pennsylvania's adjutant general, said, "There are places where it's extremely dire. And it's life and death, and they're still doing some rescues. Here we are a week later."

The guard members are part of the aviation support team to maintain helicopters in Texas.

Command Sgt. Maj. Jeff Huttle said, "These helicopters for instance have been operating for over a week now without that heavy support for maintenance. So us getting down there with this equipment is critical, and they're looking forward to us being there."

The helicopters aren't only used to help rescue people. They also carry supplies to the people in Texas who can't get to them.

"We're transitioning into that recovery and sustainment for those personnel still isolated," Huttle said.

They loaded three planes with people and supplies to take to Austin.

Gov. Tom Wolf sent the servicemen and women off Monday morning. He said help will continue to come out of Pennsylvania if it's needed.

Wolf said, "In a time of need we drop everything else, all our differences, and say, 'How can we help?'"

For some of the Guard members, this isn't their first time assisting after a natural disaster.

Capt. Bryson Meczywor said, "It's extremely important to be there for those people during their time of need."

For others, this is a new experience.

Kate Patterson, a 68W combat medic, said, "That's exactly why I enlisted: to help people who can't help themselves, which is a big theme of our unit especially."

But all of them have a desire to help in any way they can.

Carrelli said, "There are people out there suffering. So there's a lot more relief that has to come into place."