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GMC Assists in Hurricane Michael Cleanup

Georgia Military College Assists in Hurricane Michael Cleanup

On Tuesday, October 23, 2018, a group from Georgia Military College in Milledgeville, Valdosta, and Albany, traveled to South Georgia to assist in Hurricane Michael cleanup. GMC-Milledgeville Professor, Robert Sherwood, organized the trip. In just 24 hours, 39 student volunteers had signed up for the day of service. Lieutenant General William B. Caldwell, IV, President of Georgia Military College, Colonel Steve Pitt, Commandant of GMC Corps of Cadets, Operations Officer for the Corps, Colonel Duane Clayton and his wife, Executive Campus Directors, Melanie King, from GMC-Albany, and Billie Washburn, from GMC-Valdosta, and faculty members from those campuses, all attended the trip as well.

Washburn says she and her Valdosta campus were prepared to take the hit that Albany experienced. She says after learning what happened in Albany, she was eager to help.

“Although we suffered widespread power outages and tree and property damage, these were mere inconveniences compared to the effects the Albany area experienced and continue to struggle with today,” Washburn said. “It’s very important to GMC-Valdosta to show, in a tangible way, that we care about our neighbors. If we had been in their shoes, I know they would have come to help us. It was a privilege to watch three of our campuses work together, especially the students. They jumped in with both feet, doing every level of work to accomplish a common goal for the good of their community. Watching these kids embody the ideas of ‘Duty, Honor, Country,’ gives me great hope for the future leaders of our country.”
While there, the group from GMC tarped a number of homes and cleaned debris from fallen trees, blown branches, and damage from the storm.

Living in Albany, King says the outpouring of generosity and kindness shown to their community has been a wonderful thing to experience.

“There have been so many kind people from across the area, state, and beyond who have contributed so much to provide assistance, including our cadets and students from the GMC-Milledgeville campus,” King said. “Watching this group of GMC students come together to cut trees and remove debris was absolutely heartwarming. They volunteered to spend their time serving others and giving back to a community which is not their own. That’s a true reflection of their character.”

Sherwood says this trip was not only about helping those in need in South Georgia, but teaching GMC students a valuable lesson that he says can’t be taught inside a classroom.

“I want our students to realize that there are always people in worse shape than they are in,” Sherwood said. “Helping others is what keeps our society working and helping with no expectation of anything in return, that’s the key.”  

Georgia Military College was happy to help people in the Albany community recover from Hurricane Michael.