KINGMAN – Veterans at Sea recently sent a team of four to an undisclosed location in Puerto Rico. The team arrived Oct. 12 with a mission to establish a distribution and relief center in the mountainous region of the territory.
While the media has portrayed the situation as improving for residents, the story is much different on the ground. Humanitarian supplies of food and water are not leaving the port in San Juan, and there are no signs of anything being done to restore power or infrastructure.
The Veterans at Seas team is operating out of a temporary building and reaching out to local residents that are in dire need of drinking water and food. Members of the team recently visited with several nursing homes that are being restricted to less than two gallons of water a day for 12 - 16 residents plus staff members.
The first priority is to provide the team with long-range radio communications and satellite phones. Direct communications between the team on the ground and the operations center in Kingman are essential for moving the mission forward.
Once reliable communications are established, the Veterans at Sea team will move forward with humanitarian aid to several small towns by collecting donations of bottled water, food and basic relief items to be distributed.
Puerto Rico is going to be a logistical nightmare for any organization working to provide help to those in need.
Donations can be made directly to the Veterans at Sea website, www.veteransatsea.org/puerto-rico-response-team or through it Facebook page, www.facebook.com/veteransatsea, or via mail:
Veterans at Sea
PO Box 3572
Kingman, AZ 86402