It was October 1, 2005, and it was the first day my 74-year old mother-in-law was able to see the destruction the storm had done to her home. Although we were told by government officials to expect the worst -- that a small box would be all we would need to collect the possessions we would be able to salvage, seeing it first-hand was still an overwhelming experience. While we were standing out front crying at what we saw, the National Guard came around the corner, patrolling the neighborhood to stop looters. The truck stopped and the soldiers offered us water & M.R.E.s. Then this one soldier jumped out of the truck, and out of the blue, bent down and gave my mother-in-law this big bear hug. It was such a moving moment. My husband had served in the Guard, and my mother-in-law asked the soldier if he knew her through her son. The soldier said no; he was from California. I guess he felt the need to share in her loss and he felt like she needed a hug.


“[Untitled],” Hurricane Digital Memory Bank, accessed May 22, 2024, https://hurricanearchive.org/items/show/41372.