Marines on their way to Haiti Residents line up for food after Hurricane Matthew in Anse D'Hainault, Haiti, Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016. Nearly a week after the storm smashed into southwestern Haiti, some communities along the southern coast have yet to receive any assistance, leaving residents who have lost their homes and virtually all of their belongings struggling to find shelter and potable water. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery/Ben Finley)
Marines on their way to Haiti
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A U.S. Navy warship is bringing hundreds of Marines and sailors, along with power generators, water purifiers and bulldozers, to bolster relief efforts in Haiti. The Caribbean country is where Hurricane Matthew has left at least 750,000 people desperately in need of assistance.
 
Capt. James Midkiff, commander of the amphibious assault ship Iwo Jima, said the eight helicopters on the ship will start ferrying food and medical supplies for aid organizations upon arrival. The Iwo Jima can also provide medical help in Haiti. That is where hundreds have died, the injured languish unattended in hospitals, doctors warn of a surge in the disease cholera and anger is rising in remote communities still awaiting aid a week after the hurricane struck.
 
The Iwo Jima is carrying more than 1,100 sailors and 600 Marines. With them, the number of U.S. military personnel in Haiti to provide relief will rise to about 2,500.
 
For the Marines and sailors, the plan is to "alleviate some of the suffering that is going on and prevent any additional loss of life," said Lt. Col. Christopher Hafer. He is the commanding officer of the Marines' Combat Logistics Battalion 24.
 
Matthew has officially left 473 people dead as of Oct. 11. That is according to the National Civil Protection headquarters in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. But local officials in one southwestern region, Grand-Anse, said the death toll there alone tops 500.
 
The U.N. humanitarian agency in Geneva has made an emergency appeal for nearly $120 million in aid. About three-quarters of a million people in southwest Haiti alone will need "life-saving assistance and protection" in the next three months, the agency reported.
 
Midkiff said the Iwo Jima dodged Hurricane Matthew twice and Tropical Storm Nicole as it collected Marines and supplies. Then it headed for Haiti. The ship left its homeport in Mayport, Florida, as the base was being evacuated ahead of Matthew.
 
"It sounds like I'm making some of this stuff up," he said.
 
The Navy then directed the Iwo Jima to Norfolk, Virginia. It picked up some Marines, and then headed for Haiti.
 
Along the way, it encountered the outer bands of Matthew and then the swells from Nicole. The latter strengthened into a hurricane. The Iwo Jima also collected some Osprey aircraft and more Marines from the George Washington. The GW is an aircraft carrier whose orders to help out in the storm-hit Bahamas were canceled. The Iwo Jima will relieve the USS Mesa Verde. It is another ship that has been helping in Haiti but needs to prepare for a future deployment.
 
Matthew Estes is a 31-year-old Navy medic from Corryton, Tennessee. He said he's excited to help Haitian civilians who are "devastated down there."
 
"Before I left, I was nervous, anxious and overwhelmed with excitement," he said. "I'm doing the job that I want to do - that I joined to do."
 
He was an emergency medical technician in Tennessee as well as a landscaper before joining up.
 
"My wife was a little upset. But she understands the pick-up-and-go," he said. "She cried a little on the phone but then texted me and said this is what you joined to do, what you love to do."
 
Marine Lance Cpl. Shawn Durrell, 20, of Compton, California, said he expects to work hard.
 
"It's one of the biggest experiences of my life," he said. "Not only are we going to a different country, we're seeing what we can do. And we're here to help. One of the biggest things in life is to help."

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why are the marines traveling by ship instead of by air?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (16)
  • rmichael-dav
    10/18/2016 - 04:31 p.m.

    In response to "Marines go to Haiti," I agree that they should go to Haiti. One reason I agree is that their was a devastating hurricane. Another reason is that hundreds died and a lot more in need of assistance. It says in the article that hurricane Matthew has left 400 people dead. A third reason is that they have no flood protection. "not only are we going to a different country, we are seeing how we can help it". Even though people think they should have come sooner, I think late is better than never because hundreds died, no flood protection, and it was a very devastating hurricane.

  • smartina-dav
    10/18/2016 - 09:36 p.m.


    In response to "Marines on their way to Haiti," I agree that the marines should all they can to help Haiti. One reason I agree is that is that the people in Haiti are in great need right now, many are desperate for homes, medical care and food. Another reason is that we most help each other many people are in need, we can't let them down. It says in the article "Matthew has officially left 473 people dead". We need to help this people before there are more deaths. Another reason is that "Matthew has left at least 750,000 people desperately in need of assistance". People are desperate for help and we have the resources to do something about it, it common knowledge to help those in need. Even though some people think that we should not take the Marine there and that the Marine has a more important job,I think that the Navy's job is to help people. This is the right thing to do and we are obligated to help people that so desperate for help.

  • monad-mac
    10/19/2016 - 10:02 a.m.

    This is so sad.this sorta reminds me of syria and how they are living. they need help and our help to.There traveling by ship because theres alot of people.

  • jcharles-dav
    10/19/2016 - 05:22 p.m.

    In response to marines on their way to haiti I think they're doing the right thing to go to haiti. I believe it's the right thing because haiti is in need and we need to help them. They are in need and I think it's smart to go out and help the haitian people. We need to help people out more like we are doing to the haitians but at the same time i don't think we need to help them out for small things only big emergencies like hurricane matthew. But everything in moderation as we cant help everyone and everything.

  • crodger-dav
    10/19/2016 - 06:30 p.m.

    In response to Marines On Their Way to Haiti I agreed that what they were doing has a great affect on the devastated families from this hurricane. I say this because with out them coming to help out deadly viruses and disease could have spread very quickly but with them there help giving people the medical help they need and vaccinations stopped a whole lot of people from dying. Reading this also makes me proud of my country because we didn't need to help them but we did. But I'd never knew that some people said that in some villages 500 people died. I would have never thought that because of how hard Matthew hit States. In conclusion I thought that what they were doing to help the people in Haiti is extremely good.

  • abbyz1-har
    10/20/2016 - 08:24 a.m.

    The marines are traveling by ship because it is safer. They can haul more supplies with them too.

  • kanthony-dav
    10/20/2016 - 04:33 p.m.


    In response to "__Marines on their way to Haiti___________," I agree that marines should go to Haiti to help and supply them._____________________. One reason I agree is that _people need someone to supply Haiti with food after the category 4 hurricane. Another reason is that people who lost all their resources and need assistance to get what they need
    . It says in the article, " _The Caribbean country is where Hurricane Matthew has left at least 750,000 people desperately in need of assistance." A third reason ___I agree is that some people from Haiti lost their family members, and I'm sure they don't want to die from hunger or dehydration. I 100 percent agree that marines should supply Haiti after the category 4 hurricane.

  • fmadison-dav
    10/20/2016 - 04:36 p.m.

    I think it is very cool that our marines are going to help Haiti. One reason is that many people are in need their and need our help. A second reason I think this is because the marine needed to fly through the hurricane to get there. It says that "It encountered outer bands of Matthew" A third reason I like this is because People are going to a county that is less fortunate that us and didn't have enough money too build up stronger homes so we helped them.

  • gmandy-dav
    10/20/2016 - 08:59 p.m.

    In response to "Marines on their way to Haiti," I agree that this was a great decision. One reason I agree is that Haiti lost alot during Hurricane Matthew, excpecialy since they are very poor so bring water and food was the nicest thing to do to help them out! Another reason is that it's helping out poor people living there to stay healthy and rebuild there homes. It says in the article "The Caribbean country is where Hurricane Matthew has left at least 750,000 people desperately in need of assistance." Even tho Hurricane Matthew destroyed half of Haiti, I think it's very thoughtful for the Marines to help out!

  • mtaylor-dav
    10/20/2016 - 10:38 p.m.

    This article is about marines traveling to Haiti to help the injured people from hurricane Matthew. "The Iwo Jima is carrying more than 1,100 sailors and 600 Marines. With them, the number of U.S. military personnel in Haiti to provide relief will rise to about 2,500. "The eight helicopters on the ship will start ferrying food and medical supplies for aid organizations upon arrival." These quotes show how many people helped the hurt people and how they treated them with medicine and many other things. I think it is very thoughtful and kind for the marines to do such a heroic thing like this.

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