Local VA Director To Help Victims of Hurricane Ike

September 21, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Victims of Ike received some special help Sunday from the director of the Central California Veterans Affairs hospital. But the director faces some medical challenges.Director Alan Perry arrived at Kelly Air Force base in San Antonio around 2pm Sunday. For the next two weeks Perry will care for over 140 special needs patients, victims of hurricane Ike in an old run down warehouse.

Action News spoke with Central California's VA director Al Perry Saturday afternoon just hours before his departure to Texas.

Perry's helping special needs victims of hurricane Ike. "Many of these are very poor people. They're coming out of impoverished areas and we're giving them I'm convinced some of the best care they've had in their life," said Perry.

But giving the best care will be tough. Perry has to care for both patients and his staff and do so while operating out of an old abandoned hangar on Kelly Air Force base. "From what I understand this warehouse has no running water we have to use outside port-o-potties brought in and outside showers," said Perry.

Perry's no stranger to emergency situations. Three weeks ago he provided aid to survivors from hurricane Gustav. Perry worked out of an old gym in Ruston, Louisiana.

Action News also caught with Don Hargis. In the past month Hargis has responded to several hurricanes along the gulf coast.

Today Hargis and 50 volunteers from the California Southern Baptist Convention were stationed in Texas providing food and showers to thousands of Ike's victims. "Really we could not do what we're doing whether it's faith based or secular agency. We work very well together with one goal in common that's to help these people that have been affected," said Hargis.

In the last week Hargis's group has prepared close to 550,000 meals and has 12 shower units that can service up to 17 people operating daily.

As for director Perry, he's part of a second wave of volunteers helping victims. In two weeks another VA team will replace Perry.

Note: Kelly AFB is now known as Port San Antonio



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