Saturday, August 29, 2015

Ten Years Later ... A Look Back at Hurricane Katrina

Its hard to believe its been today marks the 10 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina made landfall in the Continental United States, after forming on August 23, 2005. At the time, we were stationed in Fort Polk, LA. It was certainly a stressful time filled with uncertainty as it blew closer to the Louisiana coastline. Though the base wasn't in imminent danger, most of my paternal family lived just north of New Orleans and my brother was a emergency first responder (medic) at the time with  his wife and my younger sisters who were living with them. As it approached there we talked often about whether or not the 5 of them should come stay with me at the base because my brother would be on call, but in the end they went to stay with my sister-in-law's mother in the same town.

The base hunkered down and waited for the storm to hit. After the storm, life quickly jumped into action. Some of the military units started preparing for a Humanitarian Mission, loading a convoy with MREs, water and other supplies. As a media representative at the time, I covered the convoy's preparation and departure. 

It was humbling to see so many Soldiers determined to lend a helping hand. They were tired after preparing the base for days before the storm hit and quickly changed gears from training to aiding in a matter of days. I'm not quite sure if Hurricane Katrina could be classified as a foreign or domestic enemy of the United States, but these Soldiers were ready.

Looking back it was a unique look at the "softer" side of our military and I for one will never forget those service members' dedication to the people of Louisiana, my home state, in their hour of despair. 

With deepest gratitude ...

Editor's note: Next month I'll take a look at Hurricane Rita, which hit a little closer to home ... 

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