By Major Frank Duracher
Southern Spirit staff
Although the media focused on larger cities such as New
Houston during the devastating hurricane seasons of 2005 and 2008,
staggering tolls were felt in Lake Charles and the surrounding parishes
of southwestern Louisiana.
“In September 2005 we were inundated with
Katrina evacuees, and then a few weeks later Hurricane Rita nearly
wiped out Calcasieu and Cameron parishes,” said Captain David Sams,
Lake Charles corps officer. “Then in 2008 Hurricane Ike came along and
took out about 90% of what was rebuilt down in Cameron.”
Although he acknowledges that not much good can come
from disasters, especially two or three, Sams points to a silver lining
that continues to bring measurable growth to his corps.
the summer of 2005, this corps was not just on ‘life-support’
– it was
being wheeled to the morgue,” Sams colorfully remarked.
Many of the soldiers had either quit
or moved away, and
the public's support of Salvation Army programs
was nearly non-existent,