April 20, 2013

War Stories: Hurricane Katrina

I wanted to publish this full account from an 82nd Airborne soldier who was deployed to New Orleans in response to Hurricane Katrina as it is worth reading in its entirety.  No this individual was not party to abuses of civilians or anything like that but it is interesting from a number of perspectives.  For one thing, it is an on the ground account of a few days that most Americans would prefer not to hear about.  That needs to change.  Secondly, it demonstrates some interesting psychology on the part of the soldier, how he thinks and address the world around him when placed in a wartime frame of reference but is then suddenly deployed to patrol the streets of America. -Jack

Hurricane Katrina hit the area around New Orleans the night of August 29, 2005 and by 15 September my Battalion, 3rd BN 505th PIR, was alerted for a possible deployment to support at that time what was known as Operation Pelican.

or Log In

To comment on this article please join/login. Here's a sample of the comments on this post.

  • Allwet

    RobbyRobinson1 Allwet sgtmed ...roger, once that happens.....or at any point in time under the current administration;)!

  • RobbyRobinson1

    Allwet sgtmed  Not illegal under Martial Law, the Constitution amounts to a mouse fart once that happens

  • RobbyRobinson1

    sgtmed  This response is well over 18 months behind yours. Let's be clear, NOT illegal. Do you understand the concept of Martial Law? Still with the Posse Comeritus act, NOBODY in the 82nd acted as law enforcement. Those duties stayed with the NG and the 2/3rds of NOLA PD that didn't abandon their posts and once Martial Law was declared and outside law enforcement were federalized, the city was first disarmed (why registration leads to confiscation) and then the city was entirely cleared and evacuated. I believe that was the only time in US history when that was done. I was there, I am a federal contractor through FEMA.  Ugly things happened, and yes law enforcement in many cases flat out gunned down innocent people. Yet I must call bullshit to Chris Kyle's statement of sniping from the roof of the Superdome. Again I was there, we operated out of two command posts, WalMart parking lot in the lower 9th Ward and adjacent to the Superdome. The entire membrane of the roof of the Superdome was compromised and deemed unsafe and most of the membrane was gone and massive areas of decking gone. NOBODY was up there. NOT sure what capacity Kyle claims he was there under. He wasn't working security for the former Blackwater. I saw most of those guys (didn't know till later who they were with) as our moronic boss had a whole element guarding his worthless ass

  • dlyfe

    Got to New Orleans with the USS Iwo Jima just a little over a week after the storm hit. We did a lot of BS and futile clean up jobs but we were given the opportunity to volunteer to go out with NOPD in a zodiac-ish boat and "help out." The destruction was unreal, and we saw some pretty gruesome stuff. Parts of the 82nd were staying in the Marine berthings in the ship and had to drop their weapons off at the ship's armory. One night the pistol of a member of the 82nd got mixed up with the pistol of a member of the PR National Guard. We had to search all over that night for this guy (in the PR Natl Guard) as they were staying off the ship near the mall. We went into the mall by accident and I remember seeing these lobster dead in their tank. For some reason that crepped me out the most.  POTUS came on board ship a few times and we got to work with the Secret Service a bit. Mostly just showed them hatches they would need to use and got them water and stuff. Still cool. When Hurricane RIta we had to head back down the Mississippi, so thankfully we only had to stay for about 35 days.

  • Schmitti

    Allwet Virginstateofmind Read as "Very scary looking to media and civilians in the area"... hence why command probably doesn't want it going on. To me (yes I'm a civi) it wouldn't be a problem... To stressed out locals that are still trying to grasp how Fucked their life has become... or Media looking to grab any morsel of a story and run with it "Military on Humanitarian Mission Preparing to Forcefully Raid Homes Instead" (I made that up).. you can see why command may have had a problem with it. But they could have had their normal stick up their ass too. ;)