Letter From Nippon Tsunami-Earthquate Disaster American
I am sorry that I haven’t emailed sooner; we have not had access to email for most of the past few days with all that has been going on. I am sure you all have seen the absolute devastation in Japan . Last week when the earthquake hit, we had already gotten underway. Our entire crew is safe as well as family members back in Yokosuka . We saw little to no impact out on the water. In port there were some rocking ships on the pier but not too much damage. We were all extremely lucky. Further North in Japan is where they saw most of the destruction. You all have probably been able to see more of this than I have. Sometimes it feels like the news channels know more than we do about the situation.
With thousands still missing and even more homeless left with nothing, it looks as if this will be the focus of most of us out here indefinitely. We will be continuing search and rescue missions as well as providing supplies, food, and clothes as much as we can. Last night when our CO got on the announcement system and told this to the ship, he put out that any donations would be taken to shore by the helicopter crew, and that we should do as much as we could with the resources we have available. There are aircrafts from all the ships providing relief and some shore-based that have been surveying the damage and situation ashore. There are thousands upon thousands of people stranded, trying to stay warm and find food out in open fields. Their homes have been destroyed and they have nothing more than the clothes on their backs in many cases. Knowing this, our crew of less than 300 donated enough clothes, blankets, and food to fill the mess decks last night. In less than hour of knowing that we would be remaining in the area to provide assistance, the entire crew was up and running…. Bundling blankets, clothes, shoes, and food. It will take trips to shore all day to get it all off the ship.
I watched sailors give up all the civilian clothes and shoes they had on board, so that maybe one person ashore could have something warm and dry to wear. Additionally, blankets, sheets, and pillows were given up with the sentiment that we at least have somewhere warm to sleep and that someone on shore needs these things much more than we do. There were over $8000 made in donations by our crew. This will be such a small dent in the overall disaster relief but was such an incredible thing to witness. There was not a person on board who was not contributing in some way last night. It was a heartwarming thing to witness and reaffirms my faith in the good of humanity. We may not be a large ship or crew, but it certainly can be said that the McCAMPBELL crew, as well as the other crews out here, will be doing everything they can to provide assistance to the Japanese amidst the devastation.
I have spent so much time the last year trying to figure out where I was headed and why I am where I am. I know now that I am exactly where I should be. I have so much to learn everyday, but am truly enjoying the work. It is at times stressful and exhausting, much like any other job, but I know that we are doing something important. This has only been reaffirmed the past few days.
I miss you all everyday and so blessed to have the love and support of each of you! I will try to keep you updated on how things are going. Please say a prayer for the Japanese people and nation and that we may be able to provide them with some form of relief in the coming weeks. I hope you all are safe and doing well at home!
March 19, 2011