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C-141 Katrina Relief Missons

The recent hurricanes have given the C-141 what may be a final chance to show it still has what it takes to be the greatest airlifter ever. Some of the folks who are flying the few remaining C-141's (all out of Wright-Patterson) have started to send in a few photos and they are going to be posted on these pages, along with their comments.

PLEASE: Keep 'em coming. There's not much longer to capture these sorts of photos.

From: Carl Hayden, Loadmaster

During the Katrina relief missions we flew to Dobbins ad picked up 13 pallets of backpacks. This was the first time I had loaded pallets in every pallet position on our C-141's. The backpacks were part of Operation Backpack started by a California boy and his Cub Scout troop. Here are few pictures I took of tail 620 we flew on this relief mission. The little boy in the picture is Nichols Sanchez who had the idea to start Operation Backpack. Nicholas and his parents flew to Baton Rouge, LA to see the plane land and watched us unload it. The backpacks have school supplies and clothing in them for the kids of New Orleans. These photos were taken on 10/1/2005.

A powerful picture

Here's a story from a San Diego Area newspaper (North County Times) about the project

September 7th, 2005

By: JOHN HUNNEMAN - Staff Writer

When Murrieta's Christine Dull called and began talking about a newspaper photo that spurred her son's Cub Scout pack into action, I knew right away the picture she was describing.

I was looking right at it.

Taken by Los Angeles Times photographer Carolyn Cole, the photo shows an exhausted 7-year-old boy, Dillan Chancey, sitting amidst the rubble of his Mississippi home with no shirt and no shoes, sobbing into his hands, a rain-soaked teddy bear at his feet.

Copyright: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times

Powerful stuff, I thought, the kind of photo that wins Pulitzer Prizes ---- Cole won one last year ---- and can make those of us in the "word" end of the journalism game wonder why we even bother.

When I saw the photo online last week, I copied it to my computer. It has been my constant reminder that while all the grown-ups are pointing fingers, there are children who need help.

Nicholas Sanchez, 8, is in the same scout pack as Christine's son Will, and it was Nicholas who pointed out the photo to his mother.

"My son saw the picture and he started crying," said Michele Sanchez. "He wanted to do something to help that little boy."

"Operation Backpack" began as a small, local effort that has grown regional and national legs.

"When it started, we thought we'd collect about 100 backpacks," Sanchez said. "Now it's in the thousands."

From now until Sept. 14, the Scouts, along with many volunteers assisted by Southwest Family YMCA, are collecting socks and underwear, crayons and books, stuffed toys and card games, toothpaste, hairbrushes and other essentials they will put inside backpacks and then deliver to Katrina's youngest victims.

Along with the goods, children are being encouraged to put a personal note inside each backpack.

"We're really trying to make a connection with these kids," Sanchez said. "And our children are learning that even though they can't go there and repair a roof or fix a house, they can still do something to help."

Donated items can be dropped off at several area locations, including Southwest Bank on Jefferson Avenue and the Salvation Army on Los Alamos Road, both in Murrieta; and in Temecula at Sav-On Drugs on Rancho California Road, Costco, the Rancho Army-Navy Store on Jefferson Avenue, and Rancho Community Church.

If you can't make it there, volunteers will be at The Promenade mall Saturday, collecting items and backpacks.

Help is needed to sort what comes in, Sanchez said.

Once filled, the backpacks will be driven to Biloxi, Miss., and distributed.

"The children are the real victims," Sanchez said. "But all we've seen so far are riots and floods, murder and mayhem."

Yes, and that picture of that little boy sobbing into his hands.

And for good measure here's a link directly to the story on the NCTimes web site.

From: James Fuller, Loadmaster

Here are some pics of 177 that I took on a mission to New Orleans after Katrina hit. We took several conex boxes of tents, two large generators, and some fuel and water bladders. The date was Sept.7. She had already made a couple of trips down there. The first was on 1 Sept. She was the second plane to land at the airport after the hurricane was over. She brought out over 90 patients that day.

Copyright 2005: James Fuller, Loadmaster

Somebody sent in this clipping from a newspaper.
Disregard the person in grimacing pain on the stretcher...
That's a 141 their putting them on!