TRENTON — Help from New Jersey continues to arrive in Puerto Rico in the form of the New Jersey Army National Guard. But additionally, one man took matters into his own hands to help his family.

Frustrated with what he perceived as the slow pace of U.S. help, New Jersey-based businessman Mario Salazar told the Daily Mail that he rented a plane and brought $19,000 worth of satellite phones and other supplies.

Members of the Air National Guard prepare for deployment to Puerto Rico
Members of the Air National Guard prepare for deployment to Puerto Rico (NJ Army National Guard)

The head of Ultima Smart Systems and Marine veteran said he couldn't get a flight into the country to help his family after getting a short, tearful call from his mother.

"We got here before Trump and he's a f***ing president," Salazar told the news site.

He told the Daily Mail that his mother, Madelene Cintron, also served in the military. His family lives in the northwestern area of the country call Cidra.

"I knew my son would not abandon me. He is my hero, my Hercules — the world has left us to die but he came back for us," Cintron told the news site. His sister said his family thought they had a good source of water until learning there was a dead horse in it.

Salazar plans to travel across Puerto Rico and let other residents use his phone to contact their loved ones.

Salazar says his family took only what they needed. The rest will be given to other residents.

There are 125 Puerto Rico-bound members of the New Jersey Army National Guard who prepared on Sunday. About a dozen soldiers were scheduled to leave the Joint Base on Sunday with the rest leaving from the armory in Lawrenceville on Monday.

The first group of soldiers includes members of the brigade combat team headquarters and communication specialists from the 104th Brigade Engineer Battalion. Both units are based in Lawrenceville.

Gov. Chris Christie on Friday mobilized more than 1,100 New Jersey emergency responders and soldiers who will join personnel from the New Jersey National Guard, State Police and the State Office of Emergency Management.

The Guard said its the largest out-of-state humanitarian-relief mission since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center in Madison accepted its third flight of dogs and cats from Puerto Rican shelters on Sunday night The shelter was been sending items back tor both animals and humans.

They are accepting donations of some of antidiarrheal medicine, stomach remedies, pain relief items, antiseptic ointments, bandages, disinfectant wipes and water purification tablets.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at

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