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Martin's Eagle Project 2013

2013.04.25 John Martin Helps West Texas

Yesterday (4/25/13), we collected some more donations after school and then left about 5:30 to drive up to West for the delivery.  Total donations of cash, gift cards and material goods just exceeded $3,000.  He and other volunteers invested over 200 service hours towards the project.  We met John's beneficiary in Bellmead (Jennifer Wiginton, Disaster Services Specialist, American Red Cross, College Station, pictured in wheelchair) and discussed the project and how the donations went.  We then drove to West to drop off the donations at the community center, which looked like it also doubled as the command center.  There we were greeted by many extremely grateful West volunteers and the Liaison for the City of West, Karen Bernsen (pictured in front of the West poster at the community center with me and John).  The volunteers helped us unload the truck and treated us to some drinks and snacks.  In addition, one of the volunteers, Joan (a former registered nurse, pictured showing John, my wife Laurie, and my other son, Joshua, the strategic re-entry zones map) explained the site of the blast, how the building up of the railroad in front of the fertilizer plant deflected much of the energy from the blast up and away from the buildings in front of the plant.  Otherwise, the blast (6,000 psi equivalent) would have completely leveled the adjacent structures.  She also shared stories of how a former medical director at the hospital was able to get residents of the nursing home to the back just prior to the blast, which ultimately saved many of their lives.  And a story of how her friend's elderly mother who lived only a block away, had just closed the wooden shutters on her house in front of her windows as she always did in the evening  just moments before the blast, which saved her from flying glass shards.  It was a great visit to the affected community and the people were just so nice.  Polling John late last night after we returned home, he was proud to have been part of such an effort.  My feel is that he will remember this Eagle Project for a long time to come.