Congressman Matt Gaetz honored a local hero March 12 in Pensacola for demonstrating great courage and selflessness.
Christian Oakes of Santa Rosa Beach was presented with a Congressional Record for his efforts in aiding survivors during hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria in 2017.
Soon after Oakes and his wife married in August of 2017, they loaded up donated supplies from various business clients around Santa Rosa Beach and headed to Texas to help Hurricane Harvey survivors. They performed rescues and distributed supplies to the hardest hit areas.
In the wake of Hurricane Irma, Oakes setup relief operation efforts in Southwest Florida and quickly sprang into action in hard hit communities around Naples. After seeing cars stagnant on jammed highways, Oakes invested his energy into air operations. He worked with Florida State Rep. Byron Donalds to reopen local airports to fly in much needed supplies.
Like hurricanes Harvey and Irma, Oakes rushed to hard-hit Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. With help from Rep. Gaetz, Oakes was able to cut through bureaucratic red tape to get volunteers and more than 8 million pounds of relief supplies to the island, including 500 influenza vaccines. While in and around Puerto Rico’s hardest hit areas, Oakes also managed to get a mobile medical unit to Vieques, a small island just east of the main island of Puerto Rico heavily impacted by the storm.