Operation Comfort’s Hurricane Harvey Clean Up –
September 2, 2017 – Twenty eight Veterans, family members and friends traveled to La Grange to help clean up after the Colorado River overflowed its banks, due to Hurricane Harvey, and flooded 500 homes and businesses.
One Veteran, was in a wheelchair and loaded debris into the big shovels attached to a tractor, another Veteran whose right arm was totally paralyzed, his leg partially paralyzed tore down sheet rock with a hammer, using his left arm, putting debris into a tub on a dolly, pushing the dolly out the door and to the street, where the Veteran in a wheelchair loaded the debris in the front loader. We also had three leg amputees who were unstoppable, tearing down walls and doing amazing work. Disabilities….forget about it! Everyone either served in Iraq, Afghanistan or Vietnam. Their families joined in as well. We also had therapists from the CFI come out to help. Everyone had smiles on their faces, because we knew we were helping a family who was going through a difficult time and needed help.
September 15-16, 2017 – Twenty Veterans, family and friends traveled to Rockport to help clean up. One had his arm amputated at his shoulder and had served 23 years in the Army. Another Veteran was in a wheelchair and a few years back, he rode one of the 350 mile bike rides we did with the British troops. He brought his wife and son with him and they were a huge help. They are an awesome family.
On Saturday, we began by unloading a San Antonio Food Bank truck into the North Padre Watch warehouse. Forming a long line we passed the boxes to each other, which took most of the morning to unload. Once finished, North Padre Watch assigned us to the house of a grandmother, whose beautiful oak trees had fallen in the storm. Three neighbors were cutting the trees down and we hauled them to the street. While there, neighbors came and asked us how they could get on our list to help them clean up. Not knowing how long it was going to be before we got back, I told them to call North Padre Watch and hopefully they could assign someone to help them. It turns out the woman who lived there was the grandmother of a wounded Marine. I’m so glad we were able to help her. She took all of our names so she could tell her grandson.
On Sunday, we helped a single mother whose roof had been partially blown off her house. We helped tear off sheet rock and do other cleanup work inside and out. She didn’t have any food, so we went to the donation area and picked up food for her and her neighbors. We then went back and picked up more food and took it to another town where they needed food. The food trucks had no drivers to help deliver food in the smaller towns. So we were happy to help.
September 30, 2017 – We went to Aransas Pass to help clean up. This time, five were able to go, a prosthetist who works at the CFI and his wife, an Active Duty Soldier, a Marine and Janis from OC. We helped a lady who had beautiful oak trees in her back yard which had been destroyed in the storm and had been cut down. Our job was to remove the tree branches that had fallen or had been cut down, out to the street, which was a ways from the backyard. Thank heavens for the Marine, who brought his big pickup truck. He backed his truck into the backyard, we loaded the trees into the bed of the truck, he drove the truck to the street where we unloaded everything. It was a lot of hard work, because we made many trips back and forth, but “Truck” made the job so much easier. The Marine also had his chainsaw, and was able to cut tree trunks into smaller pieces. I have to say, if anyone is in the firewood business, they can sure find a lot of firewood in the region.
Everyone we’ve been able to help has appreciated it so much. They’ve all been touched that wounded Veterans would come all the way from San Antonio to help them, during their time of need.