National Guard soldiers standing by in Greensboro for Hurricane Dorian

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Almost exactly a year after Hurricane Florence, hundreds of the same North Carolina National Guard soldiers are ready to deploy for Hurricane Dorian.

Groups of guardsmen reported to the armory in Greensboro on Tuesday to wait for orders.

One of those guardsmen is Staff Sgt. Michael Branch from Morganton, North Carolina.

Branch helped with several rescues after Hurricane Florence. He remembers their first call was a tough way to start their rescue mission.

"It just happened to be the mother and infant that were lost due to the tree coming through the house. We did everything we could," Branch said.

These soldiers are trained to maneuver the wrath of Mother Nature to save lives.

"All my guys understand they are going to go without sleep to go and do that rescue mission because we all understand if we can't get to those people we don't know what will happen to them," Branch said.

The National Guard uses humvees and LMTVs, also known as light medium tactical vehicles, to go in and rescue people and drop off supplies.

The LMTVs are 9-foot high trucks that can move 30 people at a time and help the National Guard get to people in places hard to reach.

After almost 14 years with the National Guard, Branch has seen some of the worse situations and tells FOX8 it's still hard for him to convince people they need to walk away from their homes.

"The kids are screaming and crying. They don't understand. They just know that there is water on the porch and there are two guys at the door wanting to know if they are ready to go," Branch said.

It's a decision that can mean the difference between life and death.

"The reward of helping them and making a difference rather than a loss of life is amazing," Branch said.

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