By Staff Sgt. Christopher Holmes

Special to the Hood Herald

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. - When a magnitude 7.0 earthquake devastated the island nation of Haiti, it was the daughter of a Killeen couple who stepped in to help rush medical supplies, food and water to the region.

Air Force Reserve Staff Sgt. Olivia S. Keys, daughter of Willie Tate and Linda Keys, Killeen, is a command post controller with the 315th Operations Support Squadron at Joint Base Charleston, S.C., who worked tirelessly to make sure the people of Haiti received the assistance they needed.

"I am responsible for getting aircrew members on missions to and from Haiti," said Keys, a 2003 graduate of Ellison High School.

During the relief mission Keys helped deliver more than 50,000 gallons of water, 375,000 Meals Ready-to-Eat, 700 container delivery systems for air deliveries and 200 pallets of supplies to Haiti.

"The military's proactive response shows that we will come when called upon. We also got the needed supplies and help to the Haitian people immediately," Keys said.

Thanks to Keys and other service members, tens of thousands of people in Haiti were able to survive in the weeks following the earthquake. Helping make a difference is something Keys feels is the right thing to do.

"Our efforts are important because it shows that we do support other countries under almost any means, and hopefully foreign countries will come to our aid if we are ever in need," she said.

Recent natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, the Pacific tsunami and the Haiti earthquake prove that Mother Nature rarely gives mankind a chance to prepare for her wrath.

But for Keys, and service members like her, helping pick up the pieces is always a short call away.

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