Brought down by Katrina
Hello everyone, my name is Jamey Haddock. I often think of Grand Isle. The unfortunate catastrophic event of Hurricane Katrina brought my National Guard unit (251st MP Co) to your quaint little Island. Our unit had just returned from overseas duty in support of "Operation Enduring Freedom" in the spring of 2005. I had taken a new job upon our return and was in training not long after being home. I remember those August days watching the events unfold daily leading up to landfall. Two days after Katrina made her way ashore, we got the call. Our MP (Military Police) Unit was packing up to fly to New Orleans, so we did just that. Not long after landing, we were moved out to a Parrish (and I cant remember which one) and eventually settled in on a community center. We made that our Operating Base. Im still not sure where the order came from, but my Platoon was to travel each day by convoy to Grand Isle and help in anyway possible. I was the Platoon Leader at the time. One of the things I remember the most is how the people surronding that community center took us in and made us feel at home. Of course our Unit was self-supporting in regards to food, fuel and other commodities, but there was always a special meal for us at least once a day. The folks in the community provide us gumbo, shrimp boil and more. It was great! Like I said, my Platoon of MPs were traveling to Grand Isle each day to work on anything we could. Some of my soldiers cleared debris. Some of the troops worked in the grocery store (I cant remember the name) to help clear our all the sediment of the passing surge. Some of us helped to cover open tombs in the cemetery. Part of the Platoon worked and helped in the eventual Red Cross distro center. There were so many things going on I cant remember them all. I can honestly say that the people of Grand Isle were so humble and hard working. They didn't drop their heads and wait for others to make the moves. These folks on the Island rolled their sleeves up and took the bull by the horns. It was very impressive to roll in at the Fire Department each morning. This is where we would start each day. We recieved the requests for where we were needed and took it on like a mission. I think we spent almost two weeks on the Island. The experience me and my troops had there will continue to impact our lives for many many years Iam sure. One day I want to come back down and visit you guys and see how the Island looks back in its beautiful state.
PS- Thanks again to those who traveled up to Tennesse and put on the biggest and best cajun cookin' I have ever partaken. This was the best thanks you all could have ever given, cause we like to eat in Tennessee!!!
Major (R) Jamey Haddock, Tennessee Army National Guard