For 45 days, Private David Buckner was in the heart of the New Orleans clean-up and supplying military groups with food, water and other necessities. He was also running missions and helping out who he could.
The biggest thing was if someone needed medicine or anything else, we tried to help them out as much as we could. A lot of these people have lost their houses, so we're pretty much working to find them places also," says Buckner.
Private Buckner says the images he witnessed in New Orleans will always be implanted in his memory.
"On the way down I actually got to see what it was like from an aerial view, and it was just destruction...it pretty much dropped my jaw," says Buckner.
But Buckner says from the day he arrived until the day he left the situation had improved dramatically.
"Some of New Orleans looks beautiful--and the other half--there's a lot of work ahead. If there’s a time estimate, I'd say probably about 2 to 5 years before everything is back to normal," says Buckner.
Buckner signed on for an extended stay in New Orleans saying he couldn't leave until he got his job done, but he says the experience made him long for his most precious gifts...his wife Tieara and new born son Beau Walker.
"I'd say I've probably told her a thousand times how much I love her since I got back, and held her and kissed her. It's just a sense of duty, I mean, as a soldier, that's what you do. You have to serve your country first. These people needed help and that was the biggest thing," says Buckner.
Private Buckner may volunteer again to head back to the gulf coast next month.