Monday, May 30, 2011

Misery in Missouri

Driving down the road in Joplin, Mo reveals evidence of a terrible storm and the carnage it brought. It looks like a movie set for a war picture where bombs have devastated the area. People and vehicles scurry everywhere trying to just clear the debris and sort things out. Houses and cars with big red Xs are everywhere, indicating those have already been checked for possible survivors. You wonder how everyone in the community wasn't killed. So far, the death toll is under 150 people and the missing is down to under 40, so it could have been much, much worse.

One thing that comes to mind is how quickly people step up during times of trouble. American flags have been hoisted everywhere, indicating our American spirit. We are ALWAYS there to help, particularly the first responders. But, sometimes first responders need first responders, which is the reason for my trip to the Joplin area. I wanted to see how bad it is and make contact with some of the officers. I can now say, it is as bad as what I saw after Katrina. It may not be as large an area, but it is every bit as terrible in the effected areas.

While I was enroute to Joplin PD I happened to drive down the street where the Duquesne,MO Police Department is located, so I stopped to see what we could do for them. They were holding a briefing with some volunteers and sending out teams on atvs to assist the citizens who were going through the rubble they once called home. I met the chief of this small department and told him we were there to help. He asked me to take a ride and survey the damage. While we were driving down one street, a citizen flagged us down. She wanted to know if the chief would bury her pet. He never flinched. . . "sure I will. I'd be honored", he said. I got my video camera out and recorded the moment, all the while thinking this is what we do. It's not just chasing bad guys, sometimes it's lifting a kid out of a deep hole, pulling people from wrecks, or even taking time to give someone a hug. Here is the video

We will be raising funds for the first responder families in the Joplin area over the next week or so, taking donations, selling BBQ shoulders, etc. I will be posting more about it as we move forward and we will be doing a press conference to garner more support. Please do what you can for these officers and feel free to spread the word. Pray for the victims and the volunteers in Joplin.


Anonymous said...

Good on you, Mr. John Harvey. It's nice that you took time to record this event, though it may be of no great importance to anyone other then the woman whose pet was buried, this shows the kinder, caring side of law enforcement officer. That's a side which, as you note, is often overlooked as we are used to seeing cops and robbers/good guys, bad guys media portrayals.

Also, it speaks to the kind of person you are, deep down, that you care enough to go and check on, and help, your fellow brother and sister human beingsin their time of need.

It's kind of sad that it's usually only when devastating events, such as struck Missouri, occur that we don't see our neighbors as "black," "white," "gay," "straight," "of a different religion (or no religion)," but rather we do see humans, just like ourselves, who need help. And, strangely, although we can often be so cruel to one another in times that aren't so bad, when these tragedies occur, the best in us often comes out.

Too bad we can't keep the sense of loving and caring for others without judging them through good times and bad, but, as I said earlier, "good on you, john harvey," for what the goodwill you've offered those in need.

John Harvey said...

Thanks for your kind words. Cops, firemen, paramedics, and those associated with first responders tend to be an altruistic bunch, so I don't think I'm doing anything that special. We have finally gotten information from the Duquesne PD officers and we are in the process of rounding up some new uniforms, first aid kits, etc. to ship this week. I'll try to keep everyone updated on how it's going.