Sen. Cruz: ‘From the Floodwaters of Hurricanes, to the Shores of Foreign Conflict, Texas Continues to Lead the Nation in Military Readiness and Defense’

I recently continued my ‘Texas Defends America’ tour, a week-long tour of Texas military bases, with a visit to the Coast Guard Air Station in Houston. There, I received an update on Coast Guard operations conducted in South Texas, and a briefing on the lessons learned in the aftermath of Hurricane’s Harvey, Irma, and Maria, and the preparations underway for the 2018 hurricane season. Before holding a media availability, I joined a helicopter crew in flight where he surveyed the surrounding area.

Still photos and video of my visit may be viewed here.

Hurricane Harvey was unlike anything Texas had ever weathered before, and without the help of the brave men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard, many Texans would not have seen their way through it. The Coast Guard saw Texans hurting and immediately jumped into action, rescuing over 11,000 people and 1,380 pets. Despite facing personal loss and property damage to their own homes, the Coast Guardsmen persisted night and day, leading the rescue and recovery efforts. Texas continues to rebuild stronger than ever, in large part, due to the help of these brave men and women. The bravery our Coast Guardsmen displayed during Harvey and in countless other disaster situations is a testament to the strength and resilience of Texas. From the floodwaters of hurricanes, to the shores of foreign conflict, Texas continues to lead the nation in military readiness and defense.

The U.S. Coast Guard rescued 11,022 people and 1,384 pets during the storm. Of the 2,519 Coast Guard members who live in the storm affected areas in Texas, 51 suffered catastrophic property loss and 124 others reported property damage. Most of the members who experienced these losses were heavily involved in relief efforts despite the personal challenges they faced. I visited with members of the U.S. Coast Guard stationed in Houston on multiple occasions during, and in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey for briefings on recovery efforts, emergency operations updates, and aerial tours to survey storm damage along Texas’ Gulf Coast. In September, I met with rescue swimmers, pilots, and maintenance crews from units across the country and thanked them for saving countless lives across Texas’ Gulf Coast. Three weeks later, I returned to the Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base with members of the Texas Congressional delegation and leadership for a briefing and aerial tour, before volunteering with Team Rubicon.

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