ABC Columbia Travels To Haiti
A mission that started in South Carolina touched down in earthquake-ravaged Haiti. Reporter Robin Kanady and Chief Photographer Rich Wandover took a twelve hour journey out of Charleston Air Force Base. There was a stop at Pope Air Force Base to pick up supplies. Flight crews from around the country have come to help. Lt. Col. Steve Logan says, “When we have the opportunity to take care of people hurting, it makes us feel really good.” We leave Charleston on an overnight mission, landing at Pope Air Force Base in North Carolina. That’s where we take on a heavy load. Five trucks and a generator come on board. It’s a high-stakes process. Lt Col Logan says, “If we get the cargo loaded too aft or too forward, it’s out of the design limits of the airplane.” About 18,000 pounds of water is loaded onto this plane, and it’s no easy task for eight military members. After 2 ½ hours, everything is secured, and we’re ready to go. There’s a long runway, and we need it for this heavy load. After a shaky start, we are in the air, where we meet Sgt. Bill Pressley. He says, “I volunteered for this mission. I just returned from deployment and I didn’t have to do this.” This is Sgt. Pressley’s first humanitarian mission. He says, “I know I’m not really prepared for what I’m going for mentally. I just know I’m going to help people, and that’s what means the most to me.” After more than three hours in the air, it’s time to touchdown in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. We cannot see the damage the earthquake has done, but we can feel it by the sheer number of families who want to leave the country.