From the Chairman:
Hurricane Harvey hit everyone hard, but the strength of Texans across the affected areas was not only remarkable but truly inspirational! The people of Waller County had their share of challenges in the aftermath but in true Texas style, they set aside their difficulties to aid their brothers and sisters in need.
Here is just one example of how our citizens made a difference:
On Saturday, September 2, Republican County Judge Trey Duhon was leaving his office in Hempstead for lunch when he noticed unusual activity at Barry’s Fleet Services on Hwy 6 at U.S. 290. What first caught his eye was a Blackhawk helicopter landing in the parking lot. I guess that is one way of getting someone’s attention!
Judge Duhon stopped in to see what was happening and learned that Mr. Hayden Barry, the owner of Barry’s Fleet Services, had offered his business to host the Command Center for the armed forces engaged in the rescue and recovery efforts in areas affected by Harvey. Of course the first thing Judge Duhon did was ask what he and Waller County could do to help.
The Commander told Judge Duhon about the citizens who had come by to drop off homemade desserts and snacks for those working at the command center. He mentioned that two to three hundred service members would be arriving and would billet at the location while performing disaster related missions. Mr. Barry told Judge Duhon that he had offered a vacant building on the property to house the troops but suggested the interior of the building might not be in a condition worthy of our service members. Judge Duhon, told them he would get to work and see what we could do to fix that!
The call for volunteers went out through networks across the county and in less than two hours, 60-70 Waller County residents, both young and old, had descended on the location armed with weed-eaters, brooms, mops and vacuum cleaners. Those with strong backs organized to remove the left-over furniture, while others worked outside clearing overgrowth from around the building. The hard-working ladies went about cleaning the interior with amazing resolve and skill.
Thanks to this coordinated effort, supported by Judge Duhon, Republican District Attorney Elton Mathis and Republican Sheriff Glenn Smith, the building was cleaned and ready to receive troops in less than two and a half hours. Just as the first wave of volunteers was leaving, a second wave arrived to prepare meals for the incoming servicemen and women. This group included members of a church in Cypress who brought a 60 foot tent, with tables and chairs providing a place the service members could eat and relax.
I was inspired by the spirit of these volunteer who, at a moment’s notice, worked to prepare a clean and comfortable place for our troops serving in support of the recovery efforts. I was honored to work alongside these amazing people and to see transformational results of our labors. One volunteer told me that he had just returned home from helping family members who were devastated by the storm when he got the call. He is an example of all the dedicated Waller County residents who dropped everything to help. In my view, this effort embodies the spirit of the folks in Waller County and of the Great State of Texas.
Thank you to all that have helped and are continuing to help those stricken by this disaster. As always we give thanks to the members of our military who are serving in the recovery efforts in Texas and securing peace and freedom around the world.
David W. Luther
Chairman, Waller County Republican Party