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louisiana resupply mission, gone wrong, sort of

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by mcinfantry, Sep 3, 2005.

  1. mcinfantry

    mcinfantry 1/2 ton status

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    id like to preface this with people have it way worse than me, im trying to help where i can....................................

    so, im standing in my driveway looking at about a quart of oil pouring on the ground.

    have you ever just looked around and said WTF, start laughing in lieu of crying as you lay on the bed and beg for sleep to come and dull the emotions at least for a little while? lets back up till 8am today.

    8am i get the spare tire changed on my deuce this morning. new tube, new flap, NO labor and the guy gives me a few spares. i tell him i have a police friend 100 miles away one way in Bogalusa La (north of slidell, population 25,000 and high drug problems) that was hit hard by the hurricane. I tell the tire guy i dont know if my friend is alive, or dead, and i keep hearing the Bogalusa Police chief begging for ice, food, water, fuel, etc. on the radio. the tire guy throws three empty 55gallon fuel cans in the back of the truck and says, "here... try and get em filled". see most stores are selling gas for CASH only and 40 dollar maximum. i figure in uniform, i can get around THAT!

    i called the guy i bought the deuce from and he offered 3 spare tires and wheels, and an M105 trailer that he would deliver 120miles ONE WAY. I told him today i couldnt wait, but i would get it tomorrow. he told me his 1942 halftrack had been shot up in his hometown of alexandria, la, but offered its use to me if needed.

    i start some behind the scenes maneuvering to try and get permission from my department for time off to bring supplies to bogalusa police dept in my 2.5ton (deuce) truck. they say no. i immediately retaliate by asking to allow me to go to night shift, since there are only two people in the traffic reconstruction division and we are working 7 days a week right now AND IM ON CALL DURING MY OFF HOURS! see that way i can answer the night callout, my partner the days, and i can drive during daylight to try and evade the looters. they counter offer with NO. im furious. i get a few telephone calls from the m715zone guys and pinch my nose so i dont sound like im about to cry on the phone. the phone calls and support really help so i can continue to talk like im some sort of control.

    the department tells me on my off hours i can do what i want as long as im back at 8am, or ill be AWOL. (i cant do what i want, im on call for ...... but i dont argue, they dont listen). heck after spending 2 hours at FEMA on wednesday begging to volunteer to haul food, men, supplies ANYWHERE.......i got tired of being looked at like i was stupid. Im stupid? they are the ones with no apparent command and control. i KNOW what needs to be done. NOPD might stop going AWOL if the cavalry would ever show up..... (im getting sidetracked, back on topic).

    I call one of the extra duty details i work ( a gas station) and ask about buying gas and diesel. they say sure, they will sell it to me and allow ME to pay for it when I can. I say thanks and Ill be over there after work. One problem. they dont actually have any gas or diesel to sell anyone.... the tanks are dry. OK. i figure Ill drive to Bogalusa, and see if they need any fuel and get some for tomorrows trip.

    I start calling FEMA, who forwards me to Red Cross, who forwards me to OEP (Office of Emergency Preparedness). Its getting funny now. the operators are asking why none of the agencies they forward me to, are answering me. So they start rotating the phone list in reverse order. Still no answers. no answers on how to get fuel, food or anything else.

    I had posted on the net on a Bogalusa Board for any help getting to the Police station and possible fate of my friend. A nice former military man calls me on my cell and offers to ride. I tell him ill call him back. he confirms their is looting as he has been there a few times since the storm. he goes to bogalusa to answer the numerous people who blog on whereabouts of their families. they have no cell phones, land lines, or electricity.

    I figure when i get off work im going to drive around and find something to take there. worse case ill stand in front of a store with a sign " im working for food, please help God Bless" (it works for vagrants)

    before i leave work they show the Bellsouth Building in Chalmette and advised 50 firefighters and their families were inside and receiving sniper fire and an armed band of looters were trying to storm the building. thats a comforting feeling!

    I drive to the Red Cross and explain that i have a police friend and the Bogalusa police department needs food and supplies. I explain i am there as a civilian trying to help the police in need in Bogalusa. They tell me to pull around and i finally get my truck loaded with some basic stuff.

    I run home and get my bullet proof vest, rifle and pistol (im not about to use dept equipment) and i even bring my co-driver a extra vest i own.

    i meet the guy at 1915hrs and grab 200lbs of ice from him and throw it in the cooler. Off we GO!!!! i hear a funny noise (not really funny, unless you think a slipping clutch is funny). My co-driver offered to drive but i knew the clutch was weak, and i had to be careful.

    we pull up at 2130hrs and NO ONE, i mean NO ONE is expecting us. everyone is tired like i am, and very standoffish.

    i tell them i need my friend (hes out answering a looting call) and tell them i brought supplies. they are still standoffish till i tell them the stuff is for them, and i have ICE. they get excited and come outside. they see a BIG truck and start smiling. a few look like they could cry, i think, but i quickly looked away so i wouldnt cry. they had generators buzzing and even had had what looked like jail trustees help unloading. everyone thanked me a million times and even the trustees were beside themselves thanking us. my friend shows up, and he's happy to see me. he offers ME fuel, money and numerous thanks. i tell him "see you tomorrow" and leave.

    i was told the city had seized a gas and diesel supply, but the fuel was NOT able to be used by their families. I got an order for 110 gallons of Diesel, 110 gallons of GAS, gatorade and as much Ice as possible. i figure ill get ice to fill up the trailer.

    get in the truck to leave and the clutch is BAD. i limp it home where it fails near my house and when i pull in the driveway i can smell AND hear it........ i look under and realize, not only is the clutch out, but apparently the rear main seal had a catastrophic failure. i figure, "oh well ill fix it this weekend and get on the road ASAP" then i realize i dont have a weekend, or any daylight off. theres no way to go again anytime soon. maybe next month i can bring them supplies, maybe next month, they will have power. maybe ill give up.

    i shouldnt have driven it so hard, but i need a job right now. stopping would mean AWOL

    so, im standing in my driveway looking at about a quart of oil pouring on the ground
     
  2. Storm Trooper

    Storm Trooper 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Location:
    Dillon Colorado, Hang'in in the mountains. Renting
    At least you have power and hopefully some trouble lights.
    Fix it at night if you need to and just do what you can as you can.
    Don't let things bother you so much. Just remember that your helping
    out not only your friend but many others and you should just feel
    dam good about it. Don't give up, DIG IN.
    It's awefully nice of you to do what you have already. :waytogo:
     
  3. Cricket

    Cricket 3/4 ton status

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    You did well considering all the roadblocks that were thrown in your way. You made it through all that hell, helped those people, and made it back alive.

    You can't save everyone, just do what you can. You've done more than most ever would already.
     
  4. surpip

    surpip 1 ton status

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    kick ass man my hats off to you
     
  5. Desert Rat

    Desert Rat Fetch the comfy chair

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    I have to admit, the one thing that has amazed me is the lack of response across the country by many large law enforcement agencies. I see SF bay area Fire Dept. search and rescue on the news loading up all their gear to head out to help. I saw them help in Oklahoma and on 9/11. You would think that the major police agencies in Ca. would be able to muster up a couple of hundred officers to go help. Not a peep. That saddens me greatly. LE is a large family and prides itself on taking care of its own. But apparently as you rise in rank, the radius of that philosphically shrinks. Much of it has to do with dwindling budgets, but sometimes you do the right thing on principle and worry about money later.
     
  6. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    I was watching the news a day or so ago. A SO back in Virginia lined up 22 deputies to head down. They interviewed the sheriff, he looked a little irritated. Anyway, they get these deputies lined up, they have everything they need, food, water, the whole nine yards; they are not worried about having to find stuff to survive down there. They hit the road. They already had this thing lined up with the people down there.

    Next thing they know, they are getting turned around and get back home. From what they could tell, there's been a "miscommunication" within LSP.

    The whole thing is a ****ed up mess. As far as I know, no one around here has been asked to go down. FEMA though is has been contacting people up here asking about housing.

    It's sad.............................
     
  7. Desert Rat

    Desert Rat Fetch the comfy chair

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    Yeah, you would think that if they just put out a call and asked for any officer that any agency could spare, that would generate hundreds and hundreds of officers with a combined experience that would be phenomenal. They have a process to deputize outside agencies for arrest authority already in place. Ah well, the guard and the military will do a good job.
     
  8. jarheadk5

    jarheadk5 1/2 ton status

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    This whole thing is turning into a colossal f**k story...

    Hard to believe that AFTER 9/11, a city's (hell, a whole STATE'S) disaster planning can be this f**ked up. Especially in an area whose geography makes it prone to natural disaster...

    Even harder to believe is that as hard as everyone in the NO area has been screaming for help, the very people who are VOLUNTEERING themselves and their own vehicles/supplies/services to help, are being turned away because not every T is crossed and I is dotted! You'd think after listening to stuff like this, that the rescue and recovery effort is some sort of criminal court case, and the paperwork has to be right or the bad guy's gonna get off on a technicality...


    Italessi - God bless ya,man. Takes a hell of a guy to push that hard for his fellow man in the face of all the BS you dealt with. My hat's off to you.
    Stay safe out there!
     
  9. dontoe

    dontoe 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Same from me bro! Spent 2.5 years in England AFB, Alex/Pineville and there are some real people down there!
     
  10. newyorkin

    newyorkin 1 ton status

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    Wow man, very nice. You've done a helluva lot more than a lot of other people just making that one trip. My hats off to you. :waytogo:
     
  11. blazd88

    blazd88 1/2 ton status

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    major props man. my hats off to all who can devote themselves i wish i was in that position and id be right there with you. keep up the good work and dont give up!
     
  12. BowtieBlazer

    BowtieBlazer 1/2 ton status

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    Update

    i know lee has been busy and probably too busy to post....from what I understand the national guard troops here said if he can limp it to their mechanics they are gonna see if they can't get him back up and running for more possible relief missions in the very near future....they will look everything over while they have it.
     
  13. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    You have my utmost respect for your actions. I wish I was closer so I could help. Keep up the good work. Just wish we had more people like you.
     

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