Here is an E-mail that I got from a buddy in Las Vegas,
As many of you might know ... a bunch of fire fighters, EMS personnel, and cops from New Orleans are being flown to Vegas for a little R&R .. I belong to a group of retired cops and about 30 of us had volunteered to go to New Orleans to help the local police there ... we were turned down due to the very high number of people from across the country also volunteering .. .so ...since we couldn't help that way, we volunteered to assist those coming here ..
I spent the day with about 50 firefighters, EMS personnel and some of their family members ... they are being housed in one of the nice hotels here with free food .. .anyway .. .many of these people showed up with no money and nothing but the clothes they were wearing ... not even a tooth brush .. ... each one was given some money when they arrived here .. . I took a group of them(12) to a Target Store... Target had issued vouchers good for 20% off of anything in the store ... when we got there, the store manager announced that they could have another 30% off ... then the manager announced on the PA to the other customers and employees that these people were in the store ... then a man ...a total stranger, came up to us and gave them $1000 in cash ... he just said .. "You probably need this." ...then he walked out ...
The day wasn't all good though ... I spent some time with a young man who said that his job for the past week was, every day, he and a police officer would take a boat out ... they would go up and down flooded streets where the water was up to the eves of the houses .. .then he would climb on the roof of the house. ..chop a hole in the roof .. .often he would find survivors trapped in their attics ... then they would take the people to dry ground ... if they didn't find survivors .. .they often found bodies ...these they would pull out of the house and, using electrical wire, or rope or whatever they could find, ...they tied the bodies to streetlamp poles or trees so they wouldn't float away .. . that is how he spent his days .. .as he was telling me the story ...he just stared off into space ... no tears ...no emotion ...another firefighter told me that this guy had lost two sisters ...
Another ems worker told me her job was taking the sick and injured to the New Orleans airport where there was a makeshift medical center .. .when she and her partners would bring someone in .. .they were triaged immediately .. if the doctor or nurse ...or whoever was doing the assesment said that the victim was too sick or injured to save .. .the ems people took the victim directly into the temporary morgue where the victim was laid alongside all the other bodies and left there to die..
There was another young man holding a young lady who was crying on his shoulder .. I offered them something to drink and asked if I could help .. .she told me that they were scheduled to get married last Wednesday .. .but of course everything was lost ... her wedding dress ... everything ... trying to lighten the mood I told them that they could have Elvis marry them here ... they perked up a bit ...they asked could they really do it ...and how long would it take .. .well .. one thing led to another and this couple was taken to the courthouse to get their license ...then off to a wedding chapel .. .I wasn't with them for that but I heard that they were comped a "bridal suite" at the MGM Grand for tonight ...
I just got home and I am pretty drained .. .I will be back with them early tomorrow too .. .this group will be here til saturday ...then we get another group of mostly cops ... there will be about 150 in the next group .. .I guess I will be playing "host" for a while yet .. .I was a bit disappointed to not be going to New Orleans but I guess this is where I can be of use...
What I am hearing and seeing .. .even from here in comfortable civilized vegas ...is almost beyond imagination .. it is small wonder that in the past week, 2 police officers and one firefighter have committed suicide .. .and others have simply disappeared ... there one day, then simply gone the next ...
It's a bit surprising about Las Vegas ... Sin City .. .I guess it is a bit like the legendary "Harlot with a heat of gold" ... They are really doing what they can to help these emergency workers recover a bit from their ordeal.
This is why I believe American is GREAT, it people.
What a tremendous godsend you and your friends are, keep up the good work
Thanks for sharing this
THis is just a little first hand info. The "news", no matter which news station sometimes does not tell you everything, too include just how great Americans realy are.
Never forget that Las Vegas is not just a glitzy strip of casinos. It's a real city with real people working every day. When I lived there I rarely went into casinos except to cash a paycheck or entertain others. Most people I knew that lived there were good people. Nevada shares much in common with the great state of Alaska, some of which is state of mind, which is why it's one of the only other states I would choose to live in.
It's great everybody is helping out. I did not know about the relief efforts for the responders, even they need it too.
I would love to volunteer for looter shooter duty, I'll even provide my own ammo!