Mission To Haiti

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Wrapping up our coverage

Wrapping up our coverage

by Patrick Terpstra

WVEC.com

Posted on January 23, 2010 at 9:20 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 12 at 3:13 PM

Today I rode along with the Navy and Marines to one more Haitian beach. This one is called Grand Goave and it's much more rural. This will be another site where the military offloads food and supplies for the Haitians.

We got there on those huge hovercrafts called LCACs (pronounced "EL-cacks.") Check out my story to see how much dirt these things kick up. They ride on a cushion of air over water or land. Pretty wild.

I could do this for weeks longer, and really I could actually do this for weeks longer -- Bataan and her sister ships will likely stay deployed for many more weeks in Haiti and of course their help will be welcome. But I am headed back to Norfolk and am excited to return to covering stories in Hampton Roads.

I have a new appreciation for all the U.S. military does, especially the navy. I want to thank all of the navy public affairs officers who invited the media on the ship and helped me connect with compelling people day after day, particularly Chief Petty Officer Tony Sisti, who works with an incredibly accommodating -- and might I add patient -- staff. Thanks to the I.T. sailors aboard the ship who dealt with my panic when I had stories to send and the Internet was on the fritz.

And I want to thank ALL the people who helped shoot my "standups" on the ship and in Haiti, which allowed me to look into the camera and talk directly to everyone at home in my reports. It's the one thing nearly impossible to do as a one-man-band. So thanks to Kevin, Kristen, Amna, Andy, Jeff, Alexa, Collin, Lt. Quisao, and a handful of other Marines and sailors who videotaped me so I could prove that yes I really did make it here, Mom.

Thanks also to everyone at WVEC for being patient with faulty Internet and cell phone connections. And I am extremely grateful to the station's management for the privilege of covering such an important story.

Tomorrow I fly to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, before hopefully heading to Ft. Lauderdale and then on to Norfolk. Believe it or not this is the most efficient way to "disembed."

Thanks for reading and watching our coverage -- we'll keep you updated on everything our Norfolk-based ships are doing to help fill the humanitarian needs down here even though I'll be back in Hampton Roads.

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