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David Burnell - Motivational Speaker & Instructor
David Burnell - Motivational Speaker & Instructor

Haiti Earthquake Relief Mission - 2010

0n January a 7.0 earthquake rocked the Haitian capital killing an estimated 250,000 people, injuring 300,000 more and displacing over 1 million already destitute and impoverished folks. It is credited with being the largest natural disaster in recorded history and has been the catalyst for billions of dollars in relief. This single event has effected an estimated 3 million Haitians in some form. I was there.

Perhaps the most stunning part of this story is the personal effect it had upon me and the doctors, nurses and translators that went into that country in our Task Force to provide medical relief, protection, rescue operations and the recovery of a kidnapped three year old American boy. It is important to note that during the earthquake virtually the entire government of Haiti including the President were crushed and killed while holding meetings in the palace. Furthermore the main hospital training facility where over one hundred doctors and nurses were located collapsed, eliminating the medical capability in Haiti to a handful of medical locals.

I volunteered for this mission and went to help as the Chief of Security for the Utah Hospital Task Force and the main Bodyguard for the Task Force Commander who was a former advisor for President Reagan.

It was a grueling and life changing mission that would ripple through the lives of all who went for years to come...

Haiti Journal Entry - February 7, 2010

"A bumpy ride in an army truck... Dusty roads... Burning tires... Opens fires... Haze over a city shrouded with tin... A dog looking for a scrap... A man on a motor bike carrying a 20 foot long 2x4... A pig literally happy in mud... Goats live on the streets... Chickens run wild... Buses overloaded with possessions... Sacrament prayer offered in the open back of a military truck... A fast testimony... A closing prayer. A land of potential with complex issues... A people that starve for more than food. Some here are wise... Others are fools... There are cars full of people... No rules on the road... Survival of the fittest... A pedestrian is killed... The markets are crowded... There is plenty in town... The outlying areas have little to eat... Today a doctor goes home as his duties are done... I envy him. More bodies are recovered... It will take months to complete... A ride on a helo... A view from above... The city is massive... Hard to tell the destruction from the shanties... I read posts from home and cannot relate... This world is so different... It won't take me long to find my place at home... But it feels like a lifetime... I am still here. The rivers are grey... The ocean is not clean... The jungle is burning... I ate a small banana, It tasted like a thanksgiving feast... There are rumors of riots... More kidnappings are reported... At night bad things happen... Stay close to the many... I believe in my mission to protect human lives... Its hard to be tough when i just really wanna cry... I am strong to this task... God has prepared me to lead... I just was surprised at the scale of the disaster i would be charged with."