What She Wore: Red, long-sleeve henley; white undershirt; olive green pants; red snow boots.
Single Jenn had a post that really got my juices going. Her post didn’t get me so much as some of the replies that I read in response. Many, many people believe that the only people affected by hurricane Katrina were dead-beats, criminals, and "welfare mamas." So, today, I will tell you about my grandfather–one of the many people affected by Hurricane Katrina.
My grandfather is the type of man that my husband doesn’t believe exists anymore. He is ninety-two years old. He has served his country in two different capacities. He is a military veteran having served during World War II, Korea, and the Vietnam conflict. Interspersed in this military service (he was called up during Vietnam and Korea), he also served twenty years in the government working in Veteran Affairs. His wife (also a veteran) died when his children were small and he raised the two of them alone from the ages of nine and eleven. He only drives American cars, and all of his investments have been in Treasury Bonds. He has both supported and defended this country at every turn.
When Hurricane Katrina began heading toward the Crescent City, my parents made the decision to get out early. My grandfather has prostate cancer, so car trips are long and painful for him–there’s a bathroom break about every hour. My family went to Houston, checked themselves into a pet-friendly hotel, and figured they be home after the long Labor Day Weekend. It ended up being one of the longest weekends anyone had ever expected. It was almost two weeks before anyone was allowed back in the city, and even then the place was unlivable. Meanwhile, the bills piled up–there was the daily expense of living in hotel, eating at restaurants, and buying any neccessities that he hadn’t thought to pack.
Then Hurricane Rita began bearing down on Houston.
At this point, my grandfather had been temporarily accepted at a "retirement community" in Houston. When hurricane Rita began her descent, they asked he evacuate for the second time. He’s ninety-two, he’s been chased out of his home twice, he has prostate cancer making travel uncomfortable, and now he has nowhere to go.
For the next week, he slept in a recliner in an apartment in Baton Rouge with six other people. A veteran and former judge sleeping on a recliner in substandard housing. After that, that, he returned to the retirement community in Houston until his home (another retirement community) was available for occupancy.
Despite all this, you won’t hear him complain–he went on as if nothing had happened.
Please don’t think Katrina only affected the people you see complaining on TV–it affected a lot of other poeple too–New Orleans was (is) a big city, and she hasn’t been done justice by the television news crews.