PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- Seaman Brandon Johnston was expecting just another normal day of work when he reported to the Labor and Delivery Department at Naval Hospital Pensacola, Oct. 2.
Instead, Johnston spent the day assisting approximately 700 spouses and children who were evacuated from Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, after a mandatory evacuation in preparation for Hurricane Matthew.
The evacuees began arriving to Naval Air Station Pensacola around 8 a.m. Sunday morning and continued arriving until late that evening. In addition to the spouses and children, over 60 dogs and cats also arrived via military aircraft.
"I knew on Friday that we would have to evacuate," said Heather Mattson, who arrived to NAS Pensacola with her son, two dogs and cat. "I was raised in the military, served in the military, and am now married to a service member. I am used to just 'going with the flow,' but I am so appreciative of everyone that is helping."
Naval Hospital Pensacola assisted with the evacuation by providing medical assistance to the evacuees once they arrived to NAS Pensacola. The staff on site, which included doctors, nurses and corpsmen provided care to the evacuees that included a two-day old baby and several patients who needed prescriptions.
"This was not what I was expecting today, but I was glad to be here to assist [the evacuees] when they got here," said Johnston.
In addition to Naval Hospital Pensacola providing assistance, many other organizations were on hand to welcome the evacuees and make their stay in Pensacola as comfortable as possible. These organizations included the Red Cross, USO, Fleet and Family Services and the Navy and Marine Corps Relief Society. These organizations provided meals, pet foods and basic living comforts to the evacuees as they arrived.
"Today was a great example of teamwork," said Capt. Sarah Martin, commanding officer, Naval Hospital Pensacola. "Everyone came together to help our military family members from Naval Station Guantanamo Bay during their evacuation to Pensacola. It always makes me feel proud when I see our military community work together so effortlessly to take care of others."
For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.
For more news from Naval Hospital Pensacola, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/nh_pensacola/.