Greenville airman helps with Haiti relief

Published 3:49 pm Friday, February 26, 2010

When a magnitude 7.0 earthquake devastated the island nation of Haiti, it was the son of a Greenville couple who stepped in to help rush medical supplies, food and water to the region.

Air Force Senior Airman Donyull Haywood, son of Donald and Debra Haywood of Kolb City Road, Greenville, is an airfield management operations shift supervisor with the 612th Air Base Squadron at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras, who worked tirelessly to make sure the people of Haiti received the assistance they needed.

“I ensure the safe flying operations for arriving and departing aircraft,” said Haywood, a 2001 graduate from Greenville High School.

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During the relief mission Haywood helped deliver more than 50,000 gallons of water, 375,000 meals ready to eat, 700 container delivery systems for air deliveries, and 200 pallets of supplies to Haiti.

“My effort was a huge help because, if the airfield isn’t mission ready, then planes don’t fly and we can’t get essential supplies to the Haitian people,” said Haywood.

Thanks to Haywood, and other service members, tens of thousands of people in Haiti were able to survive in the weeks following the earthquake. Helping make a difference is something he feels is the right thing to do.

“It is our duty to help other countries in their time of need. That’s why we are the greatest country in the world,” said Haywood.

Recent natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, the Pacific tsunami and the Haiti earthquake prove that Mother Nature rarely gives mankind a chance to prepare for her wrath.

But for Haywood, and service members like him, helping pick up the pieces is always a short call away. – Special to The Advocate