Food and water first step of mission in Haiti

By Dal Cannady - bio | email

PORT AU PRINCE, HAITI (WTOC) - The ramp of the airplane came down at the Port Au Prince runway just after 3am. The flight was the last of five to take the 10th Transportation company to Haiti. The troops packed on a day's notice for Haiti after spending much of last year in Iraq. By first light the next morning, they had turned their attention to a new enemy: the devastation left by an earthquake.

"Our goal is to help out whatever way possible," explained Capt. Stephen Lambe, company commander. "We're a truck company. I see us carrying supplies, whatever those supplies are. In that way, get a higher standard of living to the people of Haiti."

"They want to try and do a million meals a day, at least 15 million meals in a 2 week period and we're gonna give it everything we've got," added Sgt. 1st Class Shelton Cross.

But they will need their full fleet to help do that. They didn't have their first few days on the ground but brought as many trucks on the flights as they could. Days into their arrival, they wer waiting for the rest to get there by ship. In the meantime, they were trying to accomplish as many small missions here as they can. They set up tents on the airport grounds to house more relief troops on the way and even volunteered at a nearby tent hospital. The scope of this catastrophe was almost too much to grasp.

"We're in tents and outside our comfort zone, but if you're like this and far removed from your every day life and having to survive day to day that's more than I can ever imagine," stated 1st Lt. Jamie Lemon.

"It was humbling and heart crushing to know that not only there are adults that are suffering but there are children that are suffering. I just thank God I'm here to help," added Staff Sgt. Jennifer Thomas.

Our troops understand they could be on the ground weeks, if not months, to help a struggling nation get back on its feet.

"We as Americans forget what it is like to want," Cross explained. "When you go out that gate and you see need, that just motivates you to get ready and do what we need to do."

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