Seabees Return After Helping Tsunami Victims - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

04/16/05

Seabees Return After Helping Tsunami Victims

On Saturday more 130 members of NMCB-7 returned home.

The group had been deployed for six months to Guam but during its deployment some members helped to ease the pain of a nation devastated by a tsunami, Sri Lanka.

Now that they're back, members of NMCB 7 can look forward being with their families and getting back to life as normal.

Many of the Seabees spent time in a. a place where because of a tsunami nothing will be considered normal for a long long time.

"First impression was just total devastation," said Joseph George, a Seabee. "All the news coverage on CNN and all that stuff did it absolutely no justice. It was 100 times worse. The devastation was incredible. I've never seen anything like it before."

Jason Brown said there was a sadness in the people. "There was a lot of destruction. When we first showed up the mood of the people was pretty grim."

Brown says as time passed the pain eased.

"Things picked up towards the end when we left. We were able to do a lot of good things there like take down a lot of school buildings and a lot of badly damaged buildings that were unsafe for children," he said.

As the world rushed to help tsunami affected nations the Seabees did their part by removing debris, clearing roads, even delivering drinking water.

"It was rewarding," said Eldon Clement. "It boosted people's morale just for us being there. We all enjoyed it."

"It was a lot of work," said Brown. ""We were happy to be there to help the people as best we could."

Every time they are called on to make a difference in the lives of people in need the Seabees say both their skills and their hearts grow.

"Every natural disaster that we've encountered is a building block for us," said George. "It definitely tries your leadership, your patience and all your feelings."

The detachment from Guam to Sri Lanka included about 100 Seabees.

By Danielle Thomas

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