Exposure to these disasters has left me with a strong impression of the power of the human spirit. Humans survive. People in Joplin, Illinois, Oklahoma, and New York are picking up the pieces of their lives each day. They live with memories of the horror, but they refuse to be conquered by them. They come out of their homes to thank us; they shake our hands in convenience stores. They certainly mourn for what they lost, but they are all the more thankful for what they have. They teach me about grace and hope each day.
This deployment also featured some unique housing situations. One week we slept on cots in a homeless shelter's gymnasium. Then we were in a hotel for a couple of nights before moving to a fancy apartment building (A kitchen! My own bed!).