Computer science student displays selfless service during Hurricane Harvey relief

The devastation from Hurricane Harvey is widespread, but through the hard times humanity has shined through.

Han Hong, senior in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University, played an active role in Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in Houston, Texas.

Hong, who works for the 551st Multi Role Bridge Company of the Texas Army National Guard, worked with a team that responded to any immediate need from local authorities. His unit had access to boats that were able to deploy in a short amount of time, so they provided transportation by military vehicles that had the ability to travel through high water.

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“With these assets, my team was the first to arrive to any major flooded cities and towns along the coast,” Hong said. “Houston is where our initial support role turned into a full search and rescue operation.”

Hong’s team was next tasked with distribution after the flood started to recede. They passed out supplies, such as water and baby formula, to many.

“To be able to help those whose houses were completely destroyed was a really rewarding experience,” Hong said.

Hong was amazed by the amount of generosity he witnessed coming from those less affected to help their fellow neighbors, relatives and Texans.

“Every day our donation center was flooded with people bringing in essential supplies,” Hong said. “Some even set up camp right outside our area to cook and provide foods for troops.”

While the days were long and the hours seemed endless, he never lost sight of his mission to help as many people as he possibly could.

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“It's tiring and very cold being in a wet uniform,” Hong said. “But at the end of the day, the smile on the faces of the people we rescued made it all worth it.”

Hong has worked for the 551st Multi Role Bridge Company in El Paso, Texas for a year now. Serving in this recent capacity brought even more clarity to his career aspirations.

“My goal is more solidified after this event,” Hong said. “In a way, I want to contribute even more than what I did there. I would love to develop programs and apps that can better map out flooded areas. Being an A&M engineering student definitely helps me a lot by enabling me to think outside of the box and to quickly adapt to sudden changes.”

At Texas A&M, selfless service is a core value. Aggie engineers couple this core value with their education to improve processes, think of novel ways to help more people, and put themselves last when it comes to those in greater need. Throughout the rebuilding process for all cities, states and countries affected by recent natural disasters, Aggies and Aggie engineers stand ready to help in any way possible.