South Beloit Officers Return Home from Gulf Coast

By: Rebekah Baum
By: Rebekah Baum

They dedicate their lives to protecting our community but for 12 days, they were helping our neighbors in the gulf coast and giving them comfort in a time of utter destruction.

"It was total, total devastation, it looked like a bomb went off on a large scale basis, and everything was leveled except from some trees," says Officer Brandon Wells.

Officers Brandon Wells and Wayland Weber used up their entire vacation time to volunteer with a security firm out of Chicago. SSgt Brad Mccaslin took a leave of absence. The men were working with State Farm agents throughout the region.

"We provided security while everyone was processing their claims, and at night we would provide security for all of the property State Farm had there."

"I spent 6 years in the Marine Corps, and I've been to 3rd world countries. And some of the third world countries look better. Some of the claims people would come in and talk to us--it was like therapy for them to talk to someone--and they were very appreciative that we as volunteers were down there," says Officer Wayland Weber.

Both men say despite the chaos that southern hospitality was still beating through. Officer wells talked about a man he met who like so many, had lost everything, but still offered the officer some of his own water.

"Even though they lost everything, they wanted to rebuild. Their sprits were high, which was amazing," says Wells.

Many of the images we've been seeing are of flooding in New Orleans but the men say the entire gulf coast was leveled. Mother Nature literally shredding anything in her path.

"It just seemed like they were like, okay this is what happened, yeah, it's bad, be we have to move forward. A lot of them that did call it home were like, yeah, we're rebuilding, as soon as we get this all cleaned up. But when you look at this, you're like, where do you begin," says Weber.


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