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    #HumansOfScottAFB: Maj. Leif Espeland [Image 8 of 23]

    #HumansOfScottAFB: Maj. Leif Espeland

    SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, IL, UNITED STATES

    07.18.2019

    Photo by Senior Airman Tara Stetler 

    375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

    “It’s been a tumultuous year. We were stationed at Tyndall, and last October Hurricane Michael came and destroyed the base, along with our house and our chapel. It was truly devastating. You’ll see the effects of that hurricane for years to come. The commander, Col. Laidlaw, made the call that everyone must leave the base outside of a 100-mile radius. That was the correct call, and I’m sure it saved a lot of lives.

    Then people wanted to get back sooner rather than later to try to salvage important things: family photos, heirloom-type stuff. It was difficult because there was such devastation. Debris everywhere, tires getting shredded up by all the debris. Those days were rough, driving back and seeing power lines laying all over the place and piles of trees. There were just armies of linesmen and trucks hauling away debris everywhere. The debate is ongoing whether it was a Cat 4 or Cat 5 hurricane. Either way, I just know that I had a tree through my house. We went and tried to save some things, but between the tree through the roof, no power, and Florida heat for about three weeks, it was a health risk. You had to wear masks and protective equipment to even go in.

    Immediately, you’re just shocked, and then you’re like, ‘I’m grateful that we’re okay.’ We were essentially homeless for quite some time. We drove all over the country, and it was difficult to know how we were going to attack this. You just needed to, on a family level, use teamwork and develop a plan.

    Here at Scott, the helping agencies, the Scott AFB Chapel, Scott AFB, Airman and Family Readiness Center, the Air Force Aid Society, personnelists, finance, and medical, they’ve all pitched in to help us get back on our feet. I remember going to get some imaging at the Scott AFB Clinic, and the x-ray technician asked, ‘Hey, is there anything you need?’ It wasn’t her job, but she took it upon herself to ask that. It’s part of the Air Force culture that people volunteer and want to be part of the solution.”

    - Maj. Leif Espeland, 375th Air Mobility Wing chaplain

    #HumansOfScottAFB is an ongoing photo series featuring the stories of people who work, live, and volunteer at Scott Air Force Base.

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    IMAGE INFO

    Date Taken: 07.18.2019
    Date Posted: 09.16.2019 16:46
    Photo ID: 5754604
    VIRIN: 190718-F-VX890-1020
    Resolution: 5221x4224
    Size: 2.84 MB
    Location: SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, IL, US 

    Web Views: 55
    Downloads: 1
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    PUBLIC DOMAIN