His Personal Experiences and Community Interaction

>> Before Katrina, I lived what I considered a
very normal life in that I pastured our church

which is a 24-7 job, we ran our Christian
school, I had a pretty normal existence,

I came home and went to work on my job and that
was it; but after Katrina it was like everything

about what I did changed, it truly did.

I found myself drawn to playing a role in
helping those people who had been displaced.

It was one of the most rewarding things that I
have ever done in terms of truly serving people.

Really I've changed as a result of it.

I identify now with people's
hurt much more after Katrina

because life can change you instantly.

You know one day can make a
difference in the rest of your life.

We're vulnerable.

Nature can happen and create an
incident that can impact almost any area.

So we've changed and I think
that we've gotten closer.

A lot of conversations we wouldn't have
had being Southern Louisiana now people are

having them.

I think our neighborhood probably if
it's such a thing as just made it better,

I think it did because people talk more, people
have a more sense of belonging now to Louisiana

so in that regards I think
our community has changed.

It has given us a tool we can look back at and
sort of say this is what we did real, real,

good; this is maybe what we didn't
do so good; now we've got a tool

that we can work with to improve.

It is certainly in the sense
that we're being prepared now

that if another tragedy comes
up we have some experience now.

I don't think anyone really was
prepared for Hurricane Katrina;

so now we're in a better
position now to deal with a crisis

and I think as a whole the nation is.

I never will forget my wife and I went
to bed thinking everything was normal,

and then we woke up that morning
and clicked the television on.

And literally for about two days we
didn't move; we just were so I don't know,

it's like somebody gutted us like.

We just couldn't believe it; but if it was
something that I think was truly learned

from that is that people can survive
and that people care about people--

of the people, by the people and for the people.

We are truly a nation of
people who govern themselves.

It didn't matter what your color is; it
doesn't matter what your national origin is;

it didn't really matter what your
gender was or your sexual orientation.

None of that mattered.

People were hurting, people responded.

Sometimes it takes that to bring
out the best in us, tragedies do,

and to me that was very refreshing to some
degree that people would respond to people

that they didn't even know; in fact
risk their lives to go into New Orleans

and help people that they didn't know.

It proves again it's just another
great story in the legacy of America.