I am concerned about how we respond to natural disasters and emergencies here at home (U.S.) and abroad (world) in lieu of the China 7.8 earthquake and cyclone in Myanmar. Response and recovery are high priorities as China continue and Myanmar start rescueing the effected, triage the effected environment, establish a central command communication point, triage the wounded, get people away from the effected area as cleanup of the debris go forward, triage the central public services and get them up and running as soon as possible, monitor the multilateral agencies through a central command to avoid duplication, theft and timeline. Myanmar and China are enduring the loss of loved ones, the loss of communities, loss of belongings, jobs and lack of direction. As they go forward building standards need to take priority to mitigate against reoccurring loss. I grew-up in Southern California, graduated from Inglewood High School, left for college and then moved to Sacramento California. In 1971 I experienced the effects of being in a major earthquake (Silmar). As a little boy it scared the life out of me, and not to my knowing, did I know that it would be my career. That quake was very traumatic for me, my family and community. In 1989 I was standing against a wall in my insurance office in Rancho Cordova when I felt the wall shake. The 1989 World Series was playing on the radio. The San Francisco Bay Area and Central California was struck by the Loma Prieta earthquake. In 1993 while on assignment on Guam an 8.1 earthquake struck. In 1989 I volunteered to assist with the recovery of the disaster. Over a period of 14 years I've volunteered to help disaster victims in California, Arizona, Oregon, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, Guam, the Island of Saipan and Louisiana. The two current situations in China and Myanmar bring up old wounds and fear that I felt when I was in the 8.1 earthquake. Our government failed in the response and recovery of the Gulf Coast disaster. The Myanmar government's lack of response to the current cyclone invoked remembrance of our reaction to the 2005 Hurricane three years ago in the Gulf States.
We must change how we respond and recover from manmade and natural disasters here at home and abroad. The United States infrastructure is aging and we must be proactive in upgrading it to standards. I sacrificed my time away from my family and time away from home because I had a purpose to serve. My time serving was small in comparison to ones' sufferings. After getting burnt out from traveling I discontinued with the work (1998) and returned for Hurricane Katrina. August 2005 I was approached by my daughter to go help the disaster victims in the Gulf Coast due to Hurricane Katrina and Rita. She said, "Dad, you used to do that disaster stuff; right." I said, "Yes sweetie." She said, "Will you go help them now?" I told her that if a door opened I would go. Well, to my surprise I got a call the next day and off I went. Not only did she ask if I would go but she volunteered for a month in Louisiana. As parents we must ask our children to give back as we experience an aging work force in our country. Change in response and recovery is a requirement for our nation. We saw more youth aid the Gulf Coast in its aftermath than adult volunteers. This new wave of youths are standing up and making deposits into the fabric of our country for social and humanitarian issues and we our proud that they count. After years of helping people overseas (five tours) and across the country, I felt that I needed to help here at home.
The call is now. Not everyone has the passion or the gift to move people like Senator Obama. I hear the call that Senator Obama is trumpeting. Our country needs help with education, health care, social security, energy renewal, environmental protection, jobs at home and a mediator to trumpet for peace with the other 193 nations across the world. I believe Senator Obama will act with diplomacy, urgency and calm in getting positive results during and after a manmade or natural disaster. I've voted party lines in the past; however, I vote for the best candidate. Our nation needs a leader at the top and I believe Senator Obama is the best candidate for the position based on his tenets. He will not leave the people stranded and leave them to defend for themselves.
I witnessed troops being deployed for the first time while responding to Typhoon Russ, Yuri and Omar on Guam. It sends a chill through your whole body when you are up close and personal. There is a higher calling and that time is now. We need teachers to teach our youth. We need mentors for youth and adult to participate in civic duty. I gave three and half years to mentoring youth and am now back at it. We need parents to not abandon their offspring and families to stand together. We are one nation and together we stand and divided we fall. Tenets are principles and we must stand for something or we fall for anything. I stand behind the person that has a heart for the people. If an error in judgment was made, then the candidate needs to own up to his/her individual accountability; as well as a fiduciary responsibility to the people whom they serve, once elected. We have seen the current administration fail in executing the task in the Gulf Coast. The Gulf States and other recent disasters still require help and we have to stand together as a nation to make sure that they receive the "response" and "recovery" help that they need; still.
Our country will always offer aid to those in need as we have in the past. I see good tenets in all of the candidates, Senator Obama communicates in a calming manner, style and etiquette. These are persons I see and believe in. We've offended people at home, and reconciliation is a high priority to restore relationships here at home and abroad..
After years of sacrificing my time to help, I felt overwhelmed with the dismay of the lack of response to Hurricane Katrina in comparison to other disasters I helped with. I believe Senator Obama has a compassion for people of all party lines.