Online Story Contribution, Hurricane Digital Memory Bank

I volunteered to serve in New Orleans as a Chaplain for the United States Public Health Service. I was one of the first seven chaplains ever with the USPHS and was assigned to work with the \'recovery\' crews from Kenyon, the Army mortuary teams and FEMA. I spent my days in New Orleans driving into some of the worst hit areas overseeing the recovery of the people who lost their lives during the storm and flooding. My job was to make certain that all of the bodies recovered were treated with dignity and I also said a prayer them. It struck me one day that if those we recovered were never identified or had no family to care for them, that might be the only funeral they had. There were other chaplains with my group who saw far worse things than I did, but the experience has been one that has changed my life. It is hard to understand the damage in the city and to the lives of the people on the gulf coast without having seen it and talked with many of them. I saw the best and the worst of humanity. It is difficult even almost a year removed to discuss all of the things that happened and I experienced. Feel free to email me if you have anything to add or to ask.

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Citation

Bryan Kirby, “Online Story Contribution, Hurricane Digital Memory Bank,” Hurricane Digital Memory Bank, accessed May 24, 2018, http://hurricanearchive.org/items/show/2326.