VFW Chief Aids Storm Victims

Lake Wateree Post Commander Bob Levangie back from duty in Louisiana.

While the Lake Wateree VFW Post #8346 has been busy with turkey shoots, which continue through Dec. 1, and with preparing for this Saturday’s Fall Fun Day, Post Commander Bob Levangie has been busy in Louisiana where he was deployed by the Red Cross to assist with hurricane damage. No stranger to this type of work, Levangie, in his six years with the Red Cross Disaster Team, has been out of state to help three other times – to Richmond, Va., Wilksburg, Penn. and the flooding in Georgia.

Levangie worked at the Navy Exchange as a Senior Manager for 25 years and after a short retirement, went to work for the Virginia Beach Police Department before retiring for good. He is a member of the Lion’s Club, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, where he is serving his second term as Commander, and the Loyal Order of Moose. Levangie recently left South Carolina and flew to Houston, where he met up with other Red Cross team members, and they drove to Orange, Texas, staying at the Red Cross office overnight. The next day they were shuttled in vans to Madisonville, La. through areas sometimes covered with 10 inches of water.

After moving into an old school gym, much preparation had to be made such as sanitizing the cots and all things being used. There was no power at that time except with the use of generators. A total of eight people were at this center but the next day a tour bus took the team to a Methodist church in Slidell, La., where more than 60 people, victims of the flooding of the Pearl River, were housed. The Red Cross brought in food and Southern Baptists set up a kitchen and served 7,000 hot meals. The ages of the homeless at the shelter ranged from 3-month-old babies to seniors and handicapped persons, cancer patients, homeless persons and families who had doubled up and were living with other family members. The church held a barbecue for those at the shelter, showed a movie, told stories that got the folks involved and the church members took their clothing home to launder for them. The children painted, played games, made things with Play-Doh and had such fun that when it was all over some of them came back to the church.

Levangie was in Louisiana for three weeks. Before returning home all the equipment had to be sanitized, buildings cleaned up, cleanup kits disbursed to those returning to their homes, giving them rakes and tarps. The Red Cross does all this with money from the United Way and donations. Commander Levangie is very proud of the Lake Wateree VFW. Due to a Home Depot grant that has been approved, improvements to both the main building and the activity building have been made possible. This post won all-state for having a 100 percent membership, participating in all sponsored programs and for their work in community services they placed second in the state. The VFW is also proud of Levangie and others like him who put themselves in harm’s way and being away from home to help those less fortunate.

God bless them all.

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