I Just Wanted To Say...

What is your problem?

Name:
Location: Georgia, United States

I am me. More than I was, less than I will be. This is difficult. Facts-female, southern, mother and grandmother. Abstract-a Christian, a loner, intelligent, somewhat arrogant, impatient with stupidity, an unusual sense of humor.

9/01/2005

Keesler Air Force Base

There hasn't been a lot of mention of Keesler AFB at Biloxi. I am not really surprised about that for two reasons. The media probably just assumes the base will be safe (as if a hurricane is going to see a base and avoid damaging it out of a spirit of patriotism?). The second reason is that the people in charge of the base probably prefer it that way.

I checked the web site for Keesler to see how the base and the personnel did during the storm. I knew that non-essential personnel and all the family members would be evacuated, just as I knew that the command structure and recovery personnel would remain to ride out the storm, no matter what the danger to themselves.

This is the last official update from the command structure that remained, dated August 31, 2005:

Keesler Air Force base has survived a direct hit by Hurricane Katrina a Category 4 hurricane. Initial assessment hows extensive damage to our industrial and housing areas. We are deploying assessment crews and are in contact with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and with commanders of many military bases who have offered assistance. The damage is severe enough that we are unable to leave our shelters until Thursday at the earliest in order to assure our recovery teams have cleared debris and made it safe for us and our families to return home. Brigadier General Lord and your leadership promises to keep you apprised of the progress of our recovery teams and release you to go home and assess your own damage as soon as it is safe for your family to travel. All pets at the Keesler pet shelter are in good health and weathered this extremely dangerous storm safely. We are doing everything within our power to clear the way and provide the best immediate and long term assistance to help each one of us in order to recover from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Brigadier General Lord wants you to know we are not alone and will do everything we can to keep you safe and get you home as soon as possible. Please be patient. We all need to pull together and help us all make it through this difficult time safely.

There is a part of the communique that particularly touches my heart. The part letting personnel who had to leave their pets behind know that their animals were still safe. For all those people who think military personnel, particularly the upper ranks, are heartless, mindless myrmidons, I wish they could read this and think about it. Not only did they make arrangements before the hurricane to care for the animals that would have to be left behind, they also had enough compassion to know that people would be worried and made sure to include information in an official communique that let those people know their pets were safe.

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