MCLB houses Marine evacuees and their families - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

MCLB houses Marine evacuees and their families

September 6, 2005

Albany-- About forty Marine families will be make MCLB their home because Hurricane Katrina demolished some of their homes in New Orleans. One family at the base is just thankful that they have each other and they're safe.

9-year-old Savannah Frich is a new visitor to South Georgia. "I think what I like most about it is how kind the people are and how caring they've been," says Savannah. She and her family didn't choose to make the visit. Katrina damaged their New Orleans residence and forced the family to leave their home and their friends. "It sorta feels like you've lost something really, really, really valuable, like something you love," says Savannah.

But she's thankful that some other furry friends that she loves made the trip with her. They make her feel at home. "This one's Jack and then the one inside with the five puppies is Sadie and then that one right there is Gabe," says Savannah. As a military child, she's used to moving. Her father Lieutenant Colonel Greg Frich received command orders to evacuate to the Marine Corps Logistics base here in Albany.

"Nobody likes to have to evacuate and come through something like this but if you've gotta evacuate someplace, Albany is a great place," says Lt. Col. Frich. It's the opposite of the devastation the family saw before they left. Lt. Col. Frich says it's like a war zone back home.

"It reminds me of pictures I've seen in the past. Trees are snapped off. It's absolutely incredible, unrecognizable in many instances," says Frich. They had enough warning to gather things from their home but the material things aren't important. "These ones are irreplaceable and they are safe and they're with us right now," says Frich. "That's the most important thing, that I'm here with my family," says Savannah.

Home is where the family is. "They help me a lot more than my pets do to feel more at home and more secure," says Savannah.

But the warm feel of a four-legged friend is the extra-touch to make this stay a little more secure.

Half of the detachment from the Marine Forces Reserve in New Orleans evacuated to Fort Worth, Texas. There wasn't enough room there so the other half will be stay here in Albany. There area about 14 families at the base now. The rest arrive within the next two weeks and be here up to four months.

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