MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A member of the Pennsylvania National Guard returned to Myrtle Beach on Tuesday to show his appreciation for the community and the Myrtle Beach International Airport.
Master Sgt. George Roach said back in September, the Pennsylvania National Guard was given only eight hours notice that they would be heading South Carolina to help with rescue efforts following Hurricane Florence.
With little time to pack, the group was unable to bring a gift to show their appreciation, something they usually do when staying in a new place. That’s why Roach decided to visit Myrtle Beach with his family and leave a token of gratitude.
“We made this airport our home for close to 10 days,” said Roach. “A lot of times when we land we don’t know who we’re going to work with, we don’t know the hospitality, but the staff here at the airport really wrapped their arms around us. They made our stressful rescue missions smooth.”
Roach brought a mural for the airport with the following engraved: “Presented by the Pa. National Guard for Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Operations Support. Hurricane Florence – 2018.”
The mural includes a MQ9 Reaper, an aircraft flown by the PA National Guard.
“This artwork is just that little memento we wanted to leave with the airport,” he said.
Roach said that without the airports’ help, the operations wouldn’t of been as smooth.
“It means a lot for him to say that to us. However, I think we could turn it back on them. It meant a lot to the community and the airport as a whole for them to come in and assist with those recovery relief efforts. From our perspective that’s the least we could do is let them set up shop and we’re happy to help any way we can,” said Ryan Betcher, a spokesperson for the Myrtle Beach International Airport.
Airport staff said they consider this a great honor.