About Me

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My passion is helping others defend themselves and their families. I am an NRA Certified pistol instructor, a NRA Chief Range Safety Officer, leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - North Cincinnati, and the state leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - Ohio. I also have a heart for the Lakota people and lead mission teams to the Pine Ridge Reservation each year, am founder and director of Backpacks For Pine Ridge,, and do various volunteer work in my own community. My greatest joy is being a grandma and hanging out with my husband of 30+ years.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Grand Isle

Tonight I sat in my usual place on the couch with my cup of coffee watching the evening news, crashing from another long day and ready to just veg out for the night. The lead story was of course, the oil spill in the Gulf. Truthfully, I tire of hearing about it. Its a mess. An unbelievable mess. And it seems there's nothing I can do about it, so I'd rather not hear about it yet again. But then they featured a story about Grand Isle, Louisiana. Particularly they talked about how when the story first broke they had interviewed a man there who had a fishing business. He had talked about how much he loved taking families out fishing when they came there on vacation. But then the oil disaster hit and like many others who had made their living on the Gulf, he went to work for BP helping to clean up the mess. But he became frustrated with the bureaucracy and depressed by the lack of progress. Earlier this week he fatally shot himself in the head.

My heart broke when I heard that story. I feel a connection with the people of Grand Isle, whether I've met them or not. A week after Hurricane Katrina hit, six of us headed to Louisiana with a semi-truck full of frozen meat and box truck full of other supplies. We drove across the bridge to Grand Isle that was broken in 13 places to take food and supplies to the people of that small barrier island that sits in the Gulf just south of New Orleans. We slept in the mayor's office because it was one of the few buildings left standing. It was quite an adventure and quite a blessing to be a part of helping out in such a tangible way. So many times we heard people who were shocked that we'd come all the way from Ohio tell us that if Ohio was ever in trouble, they'd be there for us.
Later our church planned another trip to help with the clean up of the destruction left by Katrina. When I realized the trip would be over Halloween I decided we had to do something for the kids there to give them some sense of normalcy. The secretary to the mayor of Grand Isle and I together planned a Halloween party for the kids via email. I gathered candy and decorations in Ohio, packed it all up and the kids had a great Halloween party.

Grand Isle became a part of my life. When I hear that name, I always feel a connection. And when I hear a story like the one I heard tonight, its a little hard to take. I don't know if anyone from Grand Isle ever reads this blog. I highly doubt it. But in the midst of this mess I hope they know that we've not forgotten them ... that our hearts hurt for them... and that I sure do wish there was something we could do to help them get through this disaster too.


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Barbara said...

Wow. I remember when you went down there! Have we been blogging that long? You have a huge heart, Amber, full of compassion, but the most admirable thing about that compassion is that you DO something with it.