ABC Action News flew alongside airmen from MacDill AFB as they traveled to St. Croix on a mission to save lives.
The plane left early Friday morning from Tampa packed with supplies: 10 hours later it’s back in the U.S. packed with people who desperately needed help.
"I want to say hi to my family back in New York and Tampa and good luck to everyone," said Earl Shervington who was rescued from St. Croix.
He needs dialysis, and as the humanitarian crisis stretches into it’s second week, medical supplies are critically low and so is fuel to keep hospital generators running.
We were there as the air medical evacuation team wheeled patients to the cargo hold of the c-130 to get them to safety.
Nearly the entire crew was made up of Air Force Reserve officers who got the call and never hesitated to leave their families behind to fly these missions.
Once loaded, it was a six hour flight to Columbia, South Carolina with nurses constantly monitoring patients in the air.
Flying in we could see the devastation and feel the isolation. But for a few lucky patients they get to escape and live to see another day.
These missions are happening almost every single day. So far MacDill says nearly 600 people have been plucked off of the U.S. islands after Irma.