Title

Because I Can, and Because I Should

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-9-2017

Abstract

At 5:00 p.m., Friday last, I picked up La Belle Femme from the locally-based Red River Association Baptist Disaster Relief headquarters. As the caravan of private cars, SUVs, vans, and two trailers, including a 30ft. kitchen on wheels, pulled into the parking lot, family members, excited to see their loved ones arrive safely after an arduous week of travel and hours of labor helping their neighbors to the south, rushed to kiss, embrace, and hold on to their beloved.

As the vehicles disgorged their occupants, the volunteers’ faces beamed with the excitement one observes on the faces of sojourners glad to get back to their loved ones and the comforts of home. Prior to their departure, the team (co-led by 71 year old chemical engineer David McAlister) of approximately 30 volunteers displayed a bubbly enthusiasm and an uplifting esprit de corps. Though tired after two days on the road and five days of twelve hour shifts preparing and serving meals, cleaning cooking utensils, reaching out to hundreds of displaced Harvey victims, working diligently with health inspectors, sleeping on cots and floors, and a twelve hour ride back home, I noted that the same type of enthusiasm that launched the trip was displayed on the good Samaritans’ countenances. And I was reminded of the same expressions I’ve encountered many a time on the faces of Boy Scouts and their parents after a week of camping in the woods.

Publication Title

CounterPunch