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Friday, September 25, 2009

Professional Victims

Life is always about CHOICES. If something bad happens to you, you can CHOOSE to be and remain a victim or you can CHOOSE to take an alternate path. Let's face it. Bad things happen to all of us. Nobody is immune. I'll admit some of us have had more than our share of tragedy and some not so much. Life is not fair, but that's life!

I got several comments on a recent post, "Another Letter to the Editor". One anonymous commenter called me a true idiot. Didn't say why I was a true idiot and didn't consider the possibility that I might have been a fake idiot. Another anonymous commenter voiced her disgust over "Katrina victims". Please click HERE to read the comments if you haven't already.

This brings me to my topic of discussion today.........VICTIMS.

I 'd like to relate my own story of a particular Katrina victim. This particular woman showed up in the ER one day in 2005 probably a couple of months after Katrina. I don't even remember her complaint but somehow the conversation led us to the fact that she was a displaced Katrina survivor. She was lamenting the fact that she had lost everything, her place of employment had been destroyed, and she felt she had no hope. Now I certainly can't imagine the horror that this woman endured and I certainly had sympathy for her and her situation.

I asked her where she had worked and about her particular skills. It turned out that she had been a church secretary. Well I didn't think there would be much demand for church secretaries, but I suggested to her that if she had typing and filing skills that she could likely find a job somewhere.

She said, "Oh, no, if I can't find a job as a church secretary, I just don't think I can do anything else.......".

As I finished up with her and sent her on her way, I thought that perhaps this was just the shock of Katrina talking and that in a little while she would find something productive to do.

Well, almost four years have gone by since my first encounter with this woman. I have seen her again in the ER several times since then. To my knowledge she has not found a job and has managed to make her way onto the Tenncare rolls. I also heard she was receiving support from a church (no job evidently). She also has a husband and some other family members and none of them have hit a lick at anything productive that I know of. Most of the time when I see her, she reminds me that she is a Katrina survivor.

My friends, it's been 4 years since Katrina. Life is about choices and I am afraid this woman and her family have chosen to remain victims perhaps forever. 4 years is long enough. It's time to move on.

Am I heartless? A true idiot? or just speaking the truth?

I have presented the facts, you decide.


  1. We have a lot of those "so-called" Katrina victims in my area. They arrived shortly after the big blow, and many came to our church where, by chance, my daughter is the secretary. The doors of the church were opened wide as well as the church coffers. Most returned home when they could, but some stayed and stayed and were finally asked to leave. Many and I mean many remain in our small town of Brookhaven, MS and they have found their way onto the welfare rolls here. We are stuck with them.

  2. I saw some of the "victims" in Jackson Tennessee shortly after Katrina. They were at the mall, at the jewelry country (Kay Jewelers I think), looking at diamond jewelry. They had their Katrina money and were spending it on diamonds.

    Deborah F. Hamilton
    Right Truth

  3. Hey, having been a victim of Hurricane Wilma (a storm that caused a great deal of damage, where my family and I lost everything, but received no assistance from our Insurance Company or FEMA) all I can say is she and her family need to suck it up and move on with life. So life sucks and nobody cares, what else is new? Nobody made all of the fanfare about Wilma that was received about Katrina. People pulled themselves up by their boot straps and got on with their lives. Ellen DeGeneres and Harry Connick, Jr. weren't out there raising money for our area. We relocated, found employment, and are making the best of a bad situation.