David Schultz (center) pictured with his wife, Brig. Gen. Dustin (Dusty) Schultz, receiving the award. Photo by 1st Mission Support Command
Wimberley man named Volunteer of the Year for work in Puerto Rico
FORT BUCHANAN, P.R. – Wimberley resident David Schultz was recognized as Volunteer of the Year by the 1st Mission Support Command of the U.S. Army Reserve’s Puerto Rico headquarters.
The March 23 ceremony recognized Schultz’s service around the island during the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
Schultz, who is the husband of Brig. Gen. Dustin (Dusty) A. Schultz, spent long hours driving through storm-ravaged streets and neighborhoods to supply newly-established USO (United Service Organization) centers, according to a citation read during the ceremony.
“I think most of you were probably here with us during that time of trouble called Hurricane Maria, and I know that for me, and probably for those of you that were here, we experienced that very present hell,” Schultz said, adding that he considered it a pleasure he was able to help and is “very appreciative that I had the opportunity.”
In the wake of the hurricane, Schultz discovered that the USO was no longer operating in Puerto Rico, so while he was back in Texas to visit family he asked the USO in San Antonio for help.
“I really can’t say enough good things about the USO. They didn’t have to do any of the things they did, but they stepped up to the plate, and sent their people here. It was really the USO volunteers that came here who did the heavy lifting and set up those USO centers. I was happy to help but they deserve a lot of credit for helping and going above and beyond,” Shultz said.
During the emergency, the U.S. Army Reserve-Puerto Rico mobilized approximately 2,000 soldiers in a short amount of time to assist local government with resources, skills and specialized logistical resources.
That help included:
- Purifying more than 1 million gallons of water
- Distributing millions of Meals Ready to Eat
- Cleared more than 125 miles of road
- Providing medical service to more than 12,000 patients
- Facilitating communications around the island
- Assisting the Puerto Rico Forensics Sciences Institute
- Assisting in the receipt, staging and distribution of materials to restore the electric grid.
- Composed of approximately 5,000 soldiers, the U.S. Army Reserve-Puerto Rico has units in all four corners of the island to include Aguadilla, Mayaguez, Yauco, Ponce, Juana Diaz, Ceiba, Salinas, Puerto Nuevo, Virgin Islands, and its headquarters at Fort Buchanan.