MIDDLEBURG, Fla. -- While Clay County families continue cleaning up after horrific flooding, others left their families behind this week to help out complete strangers.
Disaster Relief and Disaster Training (or DRADT) has been in Middleburg for days making sure the community has the help it needs.
Volunteers were cutting down fallen trees, gutting waterlogged living rooms and sweating in the hot Florida sun on Thursday. This group says it wouldn't want to spend their Independence Day week any other way.
"Most of us are all veterans," explained Daniel Kalagain of Team Rubicon. "We've been to Iraq, we've been to Afghanistan, we served in Army capacity, military capacity on a regular basis, and to come and do stuff like this it's really refreshing. It's different, it's nice."
Disaster Relief and Disaster Training has been orchestrating the volunteer effort there. They too left behind their homes and families in South Carolina to help these folks who have nothing.
"It's neighbors helping neighbors come out and offer free assistance to neighbors who don't necessarily have the flood insurance or homeowners insurance to take care of stuff like this," said Matt McGraw with DRADT.
The volunteers say the smiles, hugs and handshakes they're getting in return would be enough on any day. But they say lending a helping hand in lieu of celebrating the Fourth shows just why America truly is the home of the brave.
"This kind of shows that patriotism is still there alive and well and people do care about each other and we help each other whenever we can," Kalagain said.
"The fourth of July holiday this really encompasses what America's all about," added McGraw.
DRADT crews are prepared to continue helping through Saturday. And more volunteers are showing up every day.
DRADT responds to disasters all over the county. But the group is formerly from Jacksonville so it says this effort is near and dear to their hearts.