News>Haitian earthquake survivors land at Joint Base Andrews
Colonel Steven M. Shepro, 316th Wing/Joint Base Andrews commander, assists a Haitian earthquake survivor while she disembarks from an 89th Airlift Wing C-32 Jan 17, 2010 on Joint Base Andrews. The survivors, all repatriated Americans, flew back to the U.S. with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton after her visit with Haitian President Rene Preval, pledging U.S. aid in the country's relief effort. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Clifford L. H. Davis)
Colonel Lewis Hofmann, 779th Medical Group Pentagon Annex director, assists Joel Nicholas, a repatriated U.S. citizen, with his medical screening Jan. 17, 2010, at Joint Base Andrews. Mr. Nicholas and 21 other survivors of the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that hit Haiti Jan 12 returned to the U.S. with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt Melissa Stonecipher)
Colonel John Long, 316th Mission Support Group commander (left) helps repatriated U.S. citizens with their luggage as they disembark from an 89th Airlift Wing C-32 Jan. 17, 2010. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton traveled to Joint Base Andrews with 22 survivors of the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that hit Haiti Jan. 12. In Haiti, the secretary met with Haitian President Rene Preval and pledged U.S. aid in the country’s relief effort. The survivors were met upon arrival here by a medical team consisting of 79th Medical Wing personnel, Prince George's County emergency technicians and Red Cross workers who ensured the passengers were in good health. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. J.C. Woodring)
After arriving at Joint Base Andrews on an 89th Airlift Wing C-32, 22 survivors of the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that hit Haiti Jan. 12 board a bus headed for a nearby hotel Jan.17, 2010. The survivors were met upon arrival here by a medical team consisting of 79th Medical Wing personnel, Prince George's County emergency technicians and Red Cross workers who ensured the passengers were in good health. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. J.C. Woodring)
1/17/2010 - JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. -- An 89th Airlift Wing C-32 carrying 22 survivors of the Haitian earthquake landed at Joint Base Andrews just after midnight Jan. 17.
The repatriated U.S. citizens arrived at the passenger terminal with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who returned from Haiti after pledging U.S. support toward the relief effort to Haitian President Rene Preval.
After a welcome from senior leaders, the victims received immediate medical attention for flu symptoms, fatigue and any other medical concerns. This care was given jointly by members of the 79th Medical Wing, Prince George's County Fire Department emergency medical technicians and Red Cross workers.
"I feel like Andrews is full of nice people," said Myrlene Desir, a returning survivor who was born in Haiti and came to the United States in 1984. "Everyone here is very helpful."
Ms. Desir, who lives in Waterbridge, Conn., was visiting family in Haiti.
For people like Ms. Desir, the trauma of the catastrophe that shook the Haiti region was eased when U.S. assistance took hold.
"The moment I stepped inside the embassy knew I was going to be ok," said Ms. Desir.
Ms. Desir's 8-year-old niece, Isabel, one of the three children she was traveling with, received medical attention for flu-like symptoms.
"I felt so sad for the survivors and really wanted to help them," said Lt. Col. Steve Irvin, 779th Aeromedical Staging Facility medical director. "(Isabel) reminded me of my own kid. You just try to take care of everybody as if they're your own."
The survivors welcomed the assistance after their traumatic experience and were humbled by the generosity of the Joint Base Andrews hosts.
"I think the doctor did a good job when he was taking care of me," said Isabel. "I think that he was very helpful."
After all necessary medical examinations were completed, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents cleared the citizens and released them to go a local hotel to rest for the night.
Air Mobility Command aircraft and Airmen continue to support the U.S. military's Haitian relief effort, Operation Unified Response, as senior leaders work to establish long-term sustainment and collaborate with international partners to help the country.