A tent means a lot to Haitian orphans
Haitian children explore the inside of a tent, using every flap and vent as an entrance, dodging their way between the legs of U.S. Army Paratroopers. Giggling, they pull at the ropes stabilizing the structure, testing its construction. The smell of freshly unpacked tents and the sound of children’s laughter fill the air.
This scene was replayed at four different sites around Port-au-Prince as Paratroopers from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team went along their mission, providing shelter for Haitians in need. Despite the long hours, in the blistering sun, the joy of a child’s smile was considered the best part of the day for several of the Paratroopers present.
“It was great to see their smiles and appreciation for our hard work,” said Sgt. Greg Meyers, a native of Springfield, Ohio and forward observer with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.
More than a dozen Paratroopers assigned to HHC, 2BCT distributed and assembled five large tents, provided by the United States Agency for International Development, in four different areas of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, for needy families and orphans. With the help of USAID, the Soldiers were able to locate people who were in need of shelter, which is becoming more important everyday due to the impending rainy season.
The Soldiers worked together to assemble the tents, first fitting together the frame, attaching the canvas, pounding stakes into the hard ground and finally tying the tent down. They even received help from the locals receiving the tents; stabilizing stakes while they were hammered into the ground and holding the tent steady as it was secured.
The Soldiers’ last stop for the day was the Christian Light Ministries orphanage. Starting as a school in 2002, Sherrie Fausey, a teacher from Jacksonville, Fla., began taking in orphaned children two years ago. “I came [to Port-au-Prince] on a one week visit. The Lord called me back to start a school,” Fausey said.
Fausey cared for 29 orphans prior to the earthquake; she now has 42. She has resumed classes for the children, however they are being held in the only two rooms of the building that are safe to enter as well as the courtyard. These locations also happen to be where the children sleep.
This will change, however, now that they have a shelter that can provide shade from the hot Caribbean sun during class hours and give the children a pest-free place to sleep.
Although it was a hard day’s work for the troopers, at the end of the day they still had energy to play with the children. When the Soldiers arrived, the orphans simply stood back and watched them work, but after a few minutes and receiving some well-deserved attention from the troopers, the children were giving them high-fives and hugging them around the legs.
Their appreciation for their new refuge was evident. Once the tent was erect, the orphans ran through it, surveying their new sanctuary. “It was nice to see someone get so excited about a tent,” said Clair Winstead, a native of Yanceyville, N.C., and intelligence analyst with HHC, 2BCT. “It seemed like, of all the people we could help,” Winstead said, “they were surprised we were there to help them.”
Story by Pfc. Kissta Feldner
Table of contents for Haiti quake 2010
- Massive earthquake strikes Haiti
- Earthquake in Haiti – aftershocks continue
- Haiti earthquake aid
- Haiti quake damages pile up
- Horror in Haiti – the morning after the quake
- U.S. quickly responds to Haiti quake
- Infrastructure hurdles to Haiti quake relief
- U.S. Coast Guard on location in Haiti right now
- Strong aftershocks continue in Haiti
- PR Guard standing by – Gitmo damaged by Haiti quake
- Paras and Marines on alert for Haiti move
- Earthquake in Haiti update for January 13 evening
- Earthquake in Haiti – January 14 morning update
- Marines ready to assist Haiti after earthquake
- Earthquake in Haiti – Update for January 14 evening
- FEMA report on Haiti relief efforts for January 15
- Out of the night sky – Air Force secures Port-au-Prince airport
- Earthquake in Haiti – January 15 evening
- Haiti Quake Relief Funding Numbers
- But people are dying – thoughts on the Haitian disaster
- Aftershocks continue to rock Haiti
- Earthquake in Haiti – Update for January 16
- Haiti Quake Relief Funding Numbers for Jan 16
- Hospital ship Comfort sails for Haiti
- Baby delivered during Haiti evacuation
- Navy is delivering supplies to Haiti victims
- Hospital ship Comfort racing to Haiti
- Country club serves as forward base for Paras in Haiti
- Situation at Port-au-Prince airport improving
- Sanjay Gupta Assists Vinson Medical Team in Haiti
- USAID Update on the Haiti relief operation January 18
- Air drop to aid Haitian victims of earthquake
- Haiti Quake Relief Funding Numbers for Jan 18
- Earthquake in Haiti – morning update January 19
- Los Angeles rescuers save Haitian woman
- Stories from Haiti – update for Jan 20 morning
- American volunteers in Haiti
- American donations for Haiti earthquake relief – Jan 21
- Haiti earthquake relief update for Jan 21
- Haitians receiving care and support aboard Bataan
- Hospital ship Comfort healing, hugging Haitians
- Brief update on Navy and Marine relief efforts in Haiti Jan 23
- Fort Hood veterinary services unit sent to Haiti
- Harbor damage in Port-au-Prince
- American giving for Haiti relief as of January 25
- Comparison of Haiti donations to Katrina and the tsunami
- Haitian Coast Guard base becomes hub for quake relief
- Comparison of Haiti donations to Katrina and the tsunami Jan 28
- High tech warbird aids Haiti relief efforts
- High-speed ferrys en route to Haiti
- Southern Command briefs on Haiti situation
- Paras opening roads in Haiti
- Aid from Dominican Republic via Kentucky National Guard
- Haitian assistance stories for February 3
- Haitian relief efforts slow
- Marine calls Leogane Haiti home
- Haiti earthquake relief update for February 7
- Army medics at work in Haiti relief effort
- Haiti earthquake relief funding update for February 14
- Keeping Haitians informed
- A tent means a lot to Haitian orphans
- Italian troops aid paras in Haiti rubble clearance
- Landslide in Haiti tests Special Ops rescuers
- Navy and Marines bridge Haitian divide from government
- Haitian earthquake relief – update for February 28
- Haitian earthquake update – March 4
- Air Guard Engineers Help Haitians
- Things are baaaaad in Haiti
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