Sunday, January 09, 2005

Getting it Done

Here is an excerpt from the Princeton Union Eagle. They interviewed some locals regarding their involvement in the Tsunami Relief efforts. Jake Ulm is the son of an old neighbor friend of mine when I was growing up in Brooklyn Center:
Jake Ulm

Ulm, 23, is a U.S. Navy aviation technician, petty officer second class, who is part of a crew on a P-3C Orion Navy surveillance aircraft. He was already deployed to the Middle East and Japan and was on call the day the tsunami hit.

Shortly after the disaster Ulm and his crew were dispatched to Thailand to do initial assessments of the tsunami damage. After a couple days of that, the crew headed off to assess the damage at Sri Lanka and India.

"We have done four missions over Sri Lanka so far and the damage is unbelievable," Ulm said. "Our missions are usually about 11 hours in the air but they end up being almost 18-hour days."

"Many houses are reduced to nothing but pieces of scattered wood. There is also major flooding as far as a mile inland."

"Since we have been flying over Sri Lanka, people are gradually starting to come out and trying to piece together what they have lost. For the most part, we are just going up there to try and figure out just how much damage was done, paying close attention to bridges and major roadways."

"This was the first humanitarian mission that I have done in my five years in the Navy but these missions mean a lot to us just because we are helping a lot of people. This is definitely an experience that I will hold on to for the rest of my life."

Ulm explained that his position on the crew is in-flight technician/ordnance man and he is part of Patrol Squadron 4 based at Kanehoe Bay, Hawaii. His five- year duty contract ends in May.
They are doing amazing work over there, so don't forget to support World Relief Day.


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