Written on: February 22nd, 2010 in Helping Our Neighbors
Last week, I asked State employees to share with me stories of compassion and commitment from the storm. The response was overwhelming—I was deeply touched as I read about the unsung heroes.
Many of you may have read the excellent article in The News Journal, and I want to share even more.
For that reason, I’m launching my blog today and dedicating it to our very hardworking employees across Delaware. I’ll be sharing stories from citizens and colleagues about acts of bravery, as well as important issues that affect us all.
Here are just a few of the many inspirational stories from our friends and neighbors:
Correctional Officer Jeanette McCarl and Lieutenant James Stanton helped Private Uri Berroa, a soldier who was stranded on his way to report for service in Iraq. According to Lieutenant Stanton: “I am so proud of Jeanette for taking the time to help another citizen who had a greater calling than us. And I’m proud of Uri Berroa for braving an historic snow storm to go to a foreign land to fight and his dedication to our country. And I’m proud of Uri’s wife for making sure he made it to his destination just to go to a place far more dangerous than a Delaware snow storm.”
From Kathie Gibson: “The staff at Emily P Bissell Hospital demonstrated extraordinary efforts during this unprecedented storm once again. I am sure my peers at our sister facilities also had the same stories.” Nurses, the grounds clearing crew, maintenance mechanics, security officers, housekeepers, materials managers, food service workers and dietary staff, nursing assistants, and others slept at the facility to care for the residents. Ms. Gibson wrote:“Through it all—the job was their priority…It takes a lot of coordination and effort to keep a 24/7 facility in operation during these conditions. Line staff did what was needed regardless of administrations actions. The line staff are the real heroes every day.”
From Robin Hartnett-Sterner: “Paratransit Operators were transporting folks to dialysis and when the weather got too bad, the National Guard assisted…The Red Cross had shelters open ready to assist those in need…The National Guard transported the volunteers to the shelters…once the shelters were up and running, the volunteers kept the shelters going, providing cots, blankets and a warm meal for those at the shelter…around the clock… None of this could have happened without the assistance from so many organizations, volunteers and first responders. Many people worked long hours but ensured that those in need were taken care of. DelDOT did a great job in keeping the main roads open.”
Kristie Pedigo wrote to me about her husband, Marvin Pedigo: “His plow truck ended up breaking down out on one of the back roads.” He waited for help to come and, “At this point, the truck could not run so there was no heat in the vehicle. It just so happened that he broke down in front of a home and before he knew it the residents were coming up to the truck with cookies and offering to make him something to eat. These people truly understood and were thankful for what my husband was doing, which doesn’t happen very often. It definitely touched him and gave him a little bit of a boost to make it through the last few days with hardly any sleep and not seeing us.”
From Mary Smith: “My dad is very ill, and with no heat or electric…the National Guard spent almost five hours getting to my mom and dad and got them to the shelter in Georgetown. I cannot express my gratitude enough for what those men and woman did for my parents. What a wonderful gift they gave me. I thank them with all my heart.”
This can’t even begin to recognize all of the people who deserve it. There are countless community members who rose well above the call of duty, and I will be recognizing a few more over the course of this week.
Please send your comments to Governor Markell at Governor.Markell@state.de.us.