The whirring of the chopper’s blades and the whine of the engine were all the 106th Rescue Wing of the New York National Guard could hear that day on August 30, 2017. The strong propellers whipped up the flood waters and sent tree branches swirling below. Hurricane Harvey had transformed the suburban streets of Houston. And in the midst of the chaos, a member of the rescue team descended from the helicopter on a line.
The chopper crew knew that Houstonites were in desperate need of rescue that day. However, the helicopter’s mid-air position in the blustery conditions made it difficult for the guardsmen to see who or what they would be saving. Indeed, even as Staff Sergeant Ryan Dush made his way down to the flooded home, he didn’t know what to expect at the end of the line.