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Back from Louisianna, Mississippi..
Old 09-07-2005, 12:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi everyone. I'm back from making back to back trips to the Mississippi area and Lousianna to help out family--one week since I've been on line and I miss this family entirely while helping out my own blood family.

For those wanting to know, all the family is fine, exhausted, but fine. My brother, his wife, son and cats are now living with us, their home was in Mandeville, the north shore area of Lake Ponchitrain. Their house for the most part was spared, their neighbors were not so lucky with 100 foot trees spliting their homes, cars and boats in half. He has 19 employees which we helped while there, some were not so lucky and lost their homes in Gulf Port and Slidell.

We took them gas, water, food, generators, etc., there still is no electric, water is contiminated too. We ran three chain saws there too, climbing roofs to cut trees, hauling logs, trash bags of trash, etc. and we even took our 12-guage just in case. The stench from rotten food in refrigerators and freezers made it smell like a war zone, in fact it reminded me when I covered the thousands of people dying each day of Cholera in Goma, Zaire during the Rwanda refugee crisis.

I made two separate trips with my assistant Rick Gutierrez to the Katrina ravaged areas of Mississippi and Louisiana to help out my in-laws and my brother’s family and while I felt deep feelings for their own pain and sacrifices, the aftermath of Katrina reminded me of a combat zone filled with devastation, deprivation and destruction. I thought for a minute I was dreaming about one of the other 39 countries I’ve visited during my photojournalism career, nope, it was indeed the good ole USA—unbelievable.

For those emailing and PM'ing me, please be patient, I'm exhausted and sore like you wouldn't believe (someone pass me a shot of Crown Reserve) (grin), and I haven't seen my own kids for a week, bear with me, I will answer your emails as they are in a pile of about 700 so far that I've barely looked at, plus I have another family living with us for now, so I'm trying to accommodate everyone.

I ask one thing from everyone here on GG, contribute to the Red Cross or some legit organization out there, even if it's one day of helping out physically at a shelter or sending in at least $5, don't be fooled by the millions already raised, it's going to take more than that, and besides, how can you put a price on life for those that weren't so lucky that may have left behind children that relied on them for school, food, etc.--please find it in your hearts to give something of value directly to legit organizations.

Thanks, more to do, more later, as I'm super swamped and the chainsaw sawdust is still trying to make it's way out my tear ducts. Thanks to all on GG that sent their private and public notes of support. While I didn't go to these areas to shoot pics, I took a handful and I share a few with you, these are only a few as again, this was not my assignment, nor my mission, my family and my brother's employees and friends were my mission, thanks, rg sends!
(These shots are nothing compared to other worse areas....)







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Re: Back from Louisianna, Mississippi..
Old 09-07-2005, 01:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Thanks for the time and effort that you put in!
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Re: Back from Louisianna, Mississippi..
Old 09-07-2005, 01:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Will do.
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Re: Back from Louisianna, Mississippi..
Old 09-07-2005, 02:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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wow, I'm speechless
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Re: Back from Louisianna, Mississippi..
Old 09-07-2005, 03:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Rolando, Im so glad to hear your family is okay and you are back safely.
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Re: Back from Louisianna, Mississippi..
Old 09-07-2005, 03:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Salute to you, sir. You are a man with integrity and strength. I guess that Army time pays off everyday. Ain't it cool being a good person? Rick, too, say hi to him for me.
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Re: Back from Louisianna, Mississippi..
Old 09-08-2005, 07:17 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks, and thanks for being a part of the GG community and family, rg sends!
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Re: Back from Louisianna, Mississippi..
Old 09-08-2005, 07:20 AM   #8 (permalink)
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No need to be speechless, let your representatives know how dissatisfied you were with our country's inability to react quickly to or own people and that they need to remove FEMA from the Dept. of Homeland Security. Thanks, rg sends!
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Re: Back from Louisianna, Mississippi..
Old 09-08-2005, 07:21 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks. We're still not out of the woods yet, but having the family safe was a big blessing. Thanks for being a part of the GG community and family, rg sends!
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Re: Back from Louisianna, Mississippi..
Old 09-08-2005, 07:26 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks and I drop my salute back to you. It's always great to help people, even when not directly related, but it's even greater to help people your family cares about as in my brother's case with his employees.

I will also say my Army training did payoff too, as in the Army we're trained to think mind over matter and let me tell you, when you have to clean out rotten food, ugh, mind over matter does matter. (Grin) On a side note, I was armed, based on all the looting we saw, you just never know. Thanks again and thanks for being a part of the GG community and family, rg sends!
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