JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It was a call to serve that didn't came with much notice. "I have never left him before. And this will be the longest time I have ever left my 7-month-old," said Whitney Thomas.
25 Jacksonville reserve soldiers put on their army green for a month long mission up north. New mother Whitney Thomas was one of them. "I will miss him a whole, whole lot. But it's to help the people. So I will help as many as I can," she said.
These men and women are headed to the heart of Hurricane Sandy's destruction in the New York and New Jersey area.
"Our job is to go and actually help pump water out of large areas such as subway tunnels and electrical areas," said Battalion Commander, LTC Kevin Meisler.
"I am not scared, I have been to Afghanistan before so this will be nothing," said Thomas.
These soldiers will be gone for at least 30 days, which means they will miss Thanksgiving. But depending on the damage, they could stay for up to three months. "As long as I am home for Christmas, and get to see him for his first Christmas," said Thomas.
This storm killed more than 100 people in 10 states, and knocked down power to 8.5 million people. These soldiers will help restore some of it. "Everyone hates to be away from their loved ones, but we are going for a great mission," said LTC Meisler.
"I actually feel proud of her because those people need help up there," said Whitney's father, Andre Thomas. It is time away from home to help others who need it most this holiday.