David Charles’ claims perspective highlights from September 6, 2005:

The drive from my hotel to Gulfport is 135 miles, one way…

Today it took 3 and a half hours each way.

. . . .

So, it’s going to be a 7 hour commute every day, round trip [to travel to and from adjustment] [T]he National Guard had taken over the entire campus for a staging area and command center. There were hundreds of Guardsmen and countless trucks everywhere you looked. There was a convoy of trucks backed up to unload supplies at least a mile long.

. . . .

I can’t say enough about the Guardsmen. They were working their butts off in the hot sun. I always tell these guys thanks for being there, no matter where I see them. They always say "yes sir" and make me feel even older. The guy at the gate who was in charge, when I told him thanks for being there, said "I love my job, sir!"

It cracked me up, but he was telling the truth….It’s the overwhelming sense you get from the people in this business. It’s not the bullshit you’re reading about with the fiasco in New Orleans.

Everyone I’ve talked to about that is outraged. Pissed off beyond belief. It’s a black eye on the relief community, and to a man we’re seething.

You don’t get people to leave their homes and families for weeks and months on end if they don’t care about what they’re doing. It was a betrayal to the thousands of men and women who ALL knew it was bullshit from the moment we all screamed in unison at the TV screens we were watching at home, getting ready to head in.

The Guard is on the scene, and everyone is very happy to see it. Helicopters flying overhead, Hummers up and down every road. Their presence will go a long way to help the morale in this beleaguered town.