One of Texas A&M’s core values is Selfless Service. Aggies have been quietly carrying out acts of selfless service with little fanfare throughout this week’s dangerous winter storm, which has blanketed the local area with rain, sleet, snow, and ice, and temperatures in the single digits. Many examples of generosity and kindness captured the attention of local officials overseeing various projects on campus and in the community.

Aiding the Campus in Need

Hundreds of members of the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets answered an urgent plea from the university Wednesday evening to help search scores of campus buildings for leaks caused by the ice storm. Will Schrank, Assistant Commandant for Logistics in the Office of the Commandant, and Tanner Cedrone, Corps Commander, organized the effort, with between 300 to 400 cadets volunteering to help university officials find leaks across the campus.

Cadets awaiting instructions from SSCBrigadier General Joe E. Ramirez, Jr, Commandant of the Corps of Cadets, said Thursday that the water issue has stabilized on campus for now, thanks in large part to the efforts of those cadets who “answered the call and helped Texas A&M’s Services for Education (SSC) last night.”  “It’s amazing the great response we got from the cadets after the call for volunteers went out,” he said. “Cadets played a big role in stabilizing water levels on campus with the help they provided SSC last night. I could not be prouder of them! They stepped up when their university needed help.”

Junior agriculture business major Memo Salinas and seven of his friends were among those cadets who quickly volunteered to help in the effort, and quickly found one of the larger leaks at the grounds of the Bonfire Memorial. “It looked like a lake or water park with water gushing out — it was massive,” said Salinas, who is also an A&M Yell Leader. “It certainly wasn’t normal. We’re just glad we all could help in some way.”

Paul Tisch — Regional Director of Operations for SSC, which is responsible for campus maintenance, custodial, grounds management and renovations — said cadets were thorough in canvassing roughly 200 buildings on the main campus, excluding dorms. “It was a major gift to have these cadets volunteer to assist the university when we needed them most,” said Tisch, who graduated from A&M in 1989 after having been a member of the Corps of Cadets. “We have been working around the clock since Sunday to address these issues caused by the hard freeze. I was super proud of the cadets.”

Aiding the Community in NeedCadets from B Battery assisting the Red Cross at the Reed Arena warming center

Sq 3 at Reed Arena warming centerRamirez also had high praise for cadets who have been helping out at Reed Arena over the past several days. Texas A&M opened up Reed Arena as a “warming shelter” for local residents who had no heat. More than 70 residents from the community, including some students, took shelter at the university’s basketball arena. The local chapter of the American Red Cross organized the effort, and the Brazos Valley Food Bank provided provisions. Cadets showed up to assist loading and unloading items at Reed Arena, and ensuring that those who needed supplies got what they needed.

A.J. Reynold, executive director of the local chapter of the Red Cross, said the Corps of Cadets answered their call for assistance in a tremendous way. “During an unprecedented time in our community, every task assigned to the cadets was executed with care, compassion and precision,” she said, thanking each unit by name — Squadrons 3, 4, 6, 8, 11, 20 and 23, as well as B Battery. “The caliber of character and work ethic of these men and women is astounding. The American Red Cross commends the cadets and the Corps for a job well done.”

Cadets also helped deliver food to Santa Teresa Church in Bryan, which was helping area residents in need – yet another example of cadets helping do what needed to be done to help others in need – something cadets have been doing for 145 years.

 

Media Contact: Amy Thompson, Corps of Cadets, amy.thompson@tamu.edu

 

News Story: Aggies Helping Aggies