A friend of ours who is a Physician's Assistant with the Coast Guard is headed over to Haiti. I ask that you keep him and the rest of our Coasties (along with the sailors, Marines, and soldiers that are over there) in your prayers. Along with the email that our friend sent letting us know he's heading over, he sent along an email from a fellow Coastie that is also over there:
Thank you for your prayers. Please keep them coming. I am now the P.A.O. (public affairs officer) on my boat and as of today I know what it really feels like to be a journalist.
This morning I was asked to go to the bridge and take a picture of something floating in the water. Well... when I zoomed in I soon found out that it was a body. I was a little shaken after that but soon got over it. Later 07 of us went to land to give medical help, and also give supplies that were needed. When we first got there, there were only about 20 people waiting and about 30 min later about 75-100 people showed up and so did the UN with their tanks. It was definitely a "hot zone". You never knew when a riot was about to break out. At the time I wish I was having a dream.
A little boy about 4 years old came up to me and squeezed me so hard and just told me he loved me, looked up and told me that he was the only one left. Everyone else in his family had died. Another older lady was telling me that everyone sleeps outside now because they are all too scared to sleep in any sort of building because they are too scared it might fall on top of them.
Today I saw people that should not have been alive. I saw a man with all the skin on his arm ripped off and just hanging by tendons, and from his left eyelid to the middle of his forehead the skin was ripped back and you could see his skull. Another lady had all the skin on her foot ripped off and all you could see were her bones (still in tact). Kids were screaming and blood was filling the floor. It was like a bad horror movie. The things I saw were no joke.
When we had to call it a day we had to sneak out... and let me tell you it was impossible to do that and once everyone found out we were leaving they all became very upset. We had to literally run as fast as we could back to our small boats to head home. We are going back first thing in the morning and this time with more protection!
When we finally got back home we had to be decontaminated, had to take some pills so that we would not get malaria and also get a few shots. We will have to do it all again tomorrow. I am sure you will ask if I am scared of the riots and what not but... no I am not at all. I joined to serve my country and if I get killed because of it then so be it. At least I know that I did it for someone else other than myself and I also did it doing God's work!
Please keep my crew and all the other service members here helping with the relief in your prayers.
To that end, if you are looking for a way to help and don't want to deal with the bigger charities (some have overhead costs that eat into donations), please check out fellow blogger Jake Wood's Team Rubicon. Probably one of the best ways to get the majority of your donation TO the people of Haiti. The level of devastation is simply unimaginable.
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