'Operation: Let's Fill Those Trailers': Fort Bragg Army veteran collecting supplies to provide support to Louisiana

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FORT BRAGG, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Fort Bragg Army veteran, with the help of the Sandhills community, is gathering supplies to provide relief to those in Louisiana impacted by Hurricane Laura.

Rick Murillo says the idea to provide some support came to him during a Wednesday morning breakfast, "I said, 'hey man, we need to do something because of this hurricane. Let's be proactive and not reactive".

That idea quickly turning into a full-blown operation. Murillo was able to get the All Veterans Group to donate a trailer, and the United States Veterans Corps quickly followed with a second one.

For the last 24 hours, "Operation: Let's Fill Those Trailers" has been underway. Murillo tells ABC 11 he's received countless donations for water, food, and other vital supplies, even receiving a mini-airplane for medical emergencies and some friends offering their own trucks for use.

"We're talking about communities, towns, cities, states, and that's what it is, that's what it's about," Murillo said.

Murillo is looking to approach this operation in phases. For Phase 1, he wants to deliver non-perishable food, water, medical and sanitary supplies to first responders and others in need.

He intends to deploy to Lake Charles, Louisiana, where Murillo will also provide aid to the local United States Veterans Corps who are already stationed in that city.

"We're not going to be picky. We're just going to say 'bring it in'. We'll store it, prioritize it, and then push it down". Murillo went on to say he expects this mission to last several months, depending on the extent of the damage down south.

Murillo, who was present for Hurricanes Matthew and Florence, says it's about helping other brothers and sisters in need.

"If there's an example that people need to follow in other communities, take a look at what we do here at Fort Bragg, cause we make things happen," Murillo said.

For those wishing to help Murillo, you can contact him at 910-778-3843 or email him at Man22SAR2020@gmail.com.
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