Soaking wet and chilled to the bone, but not by cold, he circled his john boat back around to continue the civilian search-and-rescue mission. He had already pulled countless victims from rooftops and flooded roads, but there were still so many more in need. The scope of the devastation weighed heavily on him—especially the families with children.

U.S. & Texas LawShield Member J.D. is a resident of College Station with a wife, a 3-year-old daughter, and a newborn son. He is no stranger to hard times. A few years ago, J.D. was diagnosed with and aggressively treated for a rare form of cancer. His now-wife, as well as family, friends, and even strangers, came together to support him in his dark hours. He is now in remission—and ready to pay it forward.

Hurricane Harvey Brings Historic Flooding

Fast forward to Hurricane Harvey and the historic flooding it rained down on the Gulf Coast. J.D., like many other hunters and anglers, joined hundreds of other everyday citizens in search-and-rescue efforts. He had access to a small vessel perfectly suited for maneuvering the flooded streets of the Houston metroplex. Cries for help echoed across social-media platforms and emergency lines, and sportsmen such as J.D. launched into the floodwaters without hesitation. They did not ask how they could help, but rather where.

That heroism saved thousands. Alongside first responders, military rescuers, firefighters, state and out-of-state game wardens and park police, the sportsmen who spend their weekends on the lake answered the call and rose above and beyond what was asked of them. The hunting-and-fishing industry, through sportsmen and different wildlife agencies, contributed rescue vessels in a staggering rescue mission the likes of which we Americans don’t see often enough.

We Will Rebuild

As the waters recede and we rebuild our great city, let us not forget the efforts of all Texans and our brothers and sisters across the nation who showed the world what Americans can do together in the face of tragedy.

Thank you, J.D., and thank you to all of our Hurricane Harvey Heroes. We hope you have as much luck with your fishing rod as you did with our neighbors.

Next time you see a bass boat filling up at the gas station, you may want to extend a “thank you.”

Do you have a Hurricane Harvey story to share? Please email memberstories@uslawshield.com. Or, show your appreciation for these heroes’ efforts by commenting below.