But it does raise some questions and concerns.
Capt. Bruce Gaffney of the California National Guard was cruising up flooded Johnson Street in a motorboat late Tuesday afternoon
It is wonderful that the California Guard was able to help, but that is a long way for non-specialized guard forces to travel in response in an emergency.
Saving Ollie Brownfield was a small part of the job of the 382-member California guard contingent that flew into battered New Orleans on Saturday night.
They arrived over 7 days after the emergency declaration. A clear indication that local forces were not sufficient to do the job, but that is to be expected since thousands of the Louisiana Guard are in Iraq. Still, who at FEMA took a week to call up these men.
There was an overt display of one of the deep seated issues in New Orleans.
The incident appeared to take on a racial tinge when the two white deputies treated the black men roughly. A deputy who identified himself only as Ronnie grabbed one man by his cornrows and shook vigorously. Both deputies shouted that the men would be shot if they returned to New Orleans. The guardsmen watched without comment. I'd say it was a little over the top if it wasn't for the xtraordinary situation, Sergeant Basye, a civilian employee of the California Highway Patrol, said later.
In another indicator of racial attitudes, one white man on a blue bicycle grew testy when he saw the battle-dressed soldiers with their M-16s. "You need to relax here," Grady Hardy warned Sergeant Basye's patrol. "You don't need those guns. These are good neighborhoods. It's all white through here."
unfortunately, this isn't new, and isn't going to change any time soon.
As they patrol, the Guard members are also doing gruesome work. The are having to start to mark the dead, and in this task the true degree of this failure and the damage done to the people of New Orleans is becoming clear.
On Tuesday Bravo Company found more than 20 bodies on boat patrol. Most lay bloated in the water along Claiborne Avenue
A foot patrol found a dead man on his porch on Constance Street.
On the second floor, three corpses were wrapped in white sheets.
Yesterday I got the Louisiana State Police to go get her. When we got there, she was face down in her morning coat. She was gone.