Guard, Red Cross send more people to help

Saturday, September 3, 2005

This weekend, area residents in the American Red Cross, the National Guard and the Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team will reach their final destinations in Alabama and Louisiana to continue relief efforts.

Dr. Shannon T. Kirchhoff, an orthodontist in Cape Girardeau, was called Wednesday and deployed Thursday to Baton Rouge, La., with DMORT, which is under the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA.

For at least two weeks, Kirchhoff will perform forensic dentistry at a mobile morgue unit near Baton Rouge. Today, he starts recording dental information of bodies that will be compared to records in hurricane-affected states or across the country.

Tina Bles of Cape Girardeau, Adam Moore of Oak Ridge and Tina Pattengill of Scott City were called Aug. 27 and flew out the next day to an American Red Cross staging area in Miami, Fla. Today or Sunday, the team will be deployed to Montgomery, Ala., where they will mass distribute relief supplies.

Other assignments may include assessing damage to buildings to determine which ones are usable for aid stations. Their team will stay three weeks.

Sgt. Patrick Clark, assistant sports information director at Southeast Missouri State University, was called Wednesday with the Illinois National Guard 1344th Transportation Company in East St. Louis, Ill., to go to New Orleans. Two Southeast students and a Carbondale, Ill., student were also called with the 1344th.

A convoy of about 120 trucks deployed nearly 260 Guardsmen along with military supplies from Springfield, Ill., to New Orleans. The convoy traveled in four groups of about 30 trucks and passed Cape Girardeau Friday afternoon.

The unit will engage in cleanup, search and recovery of dead bodies and some security assistance. Their duration of stay is undetermined.

Sgt. Michael Halter of Cape Girardeau, Maj. Charles Mosebach of Benton, Mo., and Sgts. James Wells and Keith Hente of Sikeston, Mo., were called Thursday with the 1140th Engineer Battalion of the Missouri National Guard. They participated in an overnight medical mission to Fort McCain, Miss., to innoculate 500 troops who were preparing to deploy to affected areas.

jmetelski@semissourian.com

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