Posted Date: 09/28/2017
When natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey hit, many soldiers are taken from their jobs and their families to bring relief to the devastated areas. History teacher and coach Justin Bryant was deployed for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts on Sept. 1. On Sept. 19, after 18 days of service, Bryant returned to Marion School District.
Although the relief efforts were his first deployment, Bryant has been in the National Guard for five years, and he currently holds the position of sergeant. His current Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) is called 13 Fox, which means that Bryant is a fire support specialist in combat.
Before working at Marion High School, Bryant’s training lasted roughly five months at Fort Still, Oklahoma. Bryant’s training consisted of 12 weeks in basic training and six weeks of specialized training.
“The differences between basic and what I do now are a lot different. In basic, they train you to fight, you work on getting in shape and you learn the basics of being a soldier. My training now at my unit focuses mainly on my MOS and the skills to perfect that. We still conduct physical training because staying in shape is an important part of being in the military,” Bryant stated.
Bryant’s relief deployment was in Beaumont, Texas, which is a town east of Houston that was hit harder than expected. The area was struck with category four winds and extreme flooding.
By Mary Claire Reece