this morning I got the word that the 41st Infantry Division, Oregon, has been activated. We will be shipping out for the Gulf Coast tomorrow morning. I’ve spent the afternoon going around looking for what little things I need, batteries, tape, etc…, and packing.
The situation is pretty grim down there, the death toll is rising. I believe that our primary mission will be to provide security and to help search for wounded and pass out supplies. But this is speculation on my part, I do not know what we’ll be doing actually. With news of armed thugs shooting it out in hospitals over narcotics, killing and rape taking place in the Superdome, snipers holding firefighters hostage, a nursing homed filled with 80 dead, and widespread looting coupled with the reality of the still flooded areas, one route of evacuation, power outages, and no food or water… it is pretty bad. This has brought out the worst in many of those in the area, such as the hotels charging normal rates, and more. But this has brought out the best in people as well, the many people volunteering their time to go to the area and help in what way they can. I am thankful that I am in the National Guard so that I can go do this. Were it not for the Guard, I’d be stuck at home.
As many of you know I love books and always have one with me. I considered taking something, even Dante’s “Inferno”, but from what I’ve seen and heard thus far, I will have no need for a poet to give me images of Hell. I never thought I’d arm up with troops and go to a zone in the U.S. that is in worse shape than Baghdad, Iraq.
There are some websites out there that say “click here to send a dollar” and such… don’t buy into these. They are traffic builders and do little or nothing. Instead, go to http://www.redcross.org and donate money or go to http://www.fema.com and donate there also. Right now it is cash that is needed.
It is projected that I will be gone for a month or so, but this is not certain as of yet.