Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

U.S. soldiers arrive to help keep the peace in Haiti

port-au-prince

U.S. soldiers arrive to help keep the peace

The Black Hawk helicopter sloped down and settled on the lawn of the presidential palace with the drama of a visiting head of state — or an invasion — but delivering neither.

Paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne hopped out of the gray chopper as the thump and wind blast of the rotors pelted hundreds of Haitians who lined the green iron fence.

As many as 3,500 soldiers from the 82nd, based at Fort Bragg, N.C., will be in Haiti eventually, helping to keep the peace and distribute food, water and other necessities. On Tuesday, Charlie Company from the 1st Battalion of the 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment was assigned to beef up security at a hospital about 200 yards from the palace.

The soldiers face fewer threats than they have in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan but are encountering equally traumatic scenes of a different kind.

"I thought I was back in Iraq," Sgt. 1st Class Daymond Graves said later. "You only see so much on TV, and then you get here and see it. This is really serious."

Thousands leave shattered capital

Thousands of Haiti's quake victims are struggling to board buses to flee hunger and violence in the shattered capital, hoping that food will be easier to find in the countryside.

"Thousands and thousands are leaving. I've never seen such a rush, even at Christmas," said driver Garette Saint-Julien, who was trying to manage the crowd in front of his bus.

Upward of 1 million people may flee the Port-au-Prince area for the countryside, straining Haiti's already precarious farms, said Laurent Thomas, director of the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization's emergency operations.

"We've got no more food and no more house, so leaving is the only thing to do," said Livena Livel, a 22-year-old street vendor who was traveling to her father's house near the town of Les Cayes four hours south of Port-au-Prince.

"At least over there we can farm for food," she said, carrying her 1-year-old daughter, Othmeline.

Livel and the six relatives leaving with her said they had scraped together the last of their money to pay for the trip. The one-way fare had nearly doubled to the equivalent of $7.70 — more than three days' income for most Haitians.

Two UF students return home safely

Two University of Florida graduate students who were in Haiti when the quake struck have returned home safely.

Roman Safiullin and Jon Bougher had flown to Haiti for five days to gather footage for a thesis documentary film about Planting Peace, an organization that aids orphans, among other causes.

When the earthquake hit, Safiullin, of Fort Lauderdale, and Bougher, of Weare, N.H., were at the orphanage, about 30 minutes outside of Port-au-Prince and 25 miles from the epicenter.

Outside, they saw stunned Haitians wandering with blood-covered faces and hands; buildings left in shambles; survivors thanking God with lifted arms and voices.

Bougher made his way onto a flight to the United States last Thursday. Safiullin didn't reach home until Saturday, after a Coast Guard escort to the Dominican Republic

Sources: Times staff writer Katie Sanders; Associated Press; McClatchy Newspapers

U.S. soldiers arrive to help keep the peace in Haiti 01/19/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 19, 2010 10:04pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trump hails the fallen and their families at Arlington

    Nation

    ARLINGTON, Va. — President Donald Trump expressed his nation's "boundless and undying" gratitude Monday to Americans who have fallen in battle and to the families they left behind, hailing as heroes the hundreds of thousands buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

    President Donald Trump participates in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day, May 29, 2017 in Arlington, Virginia. [Photo by Olivier Douliery - Pool/Getty Images]
  2. Tiger Woods arrested in Florida on DUI charge, released

    Public Safety

    Tiger Woods was arrested early Monday on a DUI charge in Jupiter, Florida, and spent nearly four hours in a county jail before he was released.

    Tiger Woods has been arrested on a DUI charge in Florida.
  3. Review: The Underwoods bring the political terror in 'House of Cards' Season 5

    Blogs

    The ruthless Frank and Claire Underwood are back, continuing their own form of terror inside and outside of the White House.

    Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright in House of Cards Season 5 on Netflix.
  4. French president attacks Russian media outlets; Putin says Moscow didn't try to influence French election

    World

    VERSAILLES, France — UPDATE, 11:57 A.M.: French President Emmanuel Macron has made an extraordinary attack on two Russian media outlets, saying they acted as "propaganda" organs during France's election campaign.

    French President Emmanuel Macron, right, speaks to Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Galerie des Batailles (Gallery of Battles) at the Versailles Palace as they arrive for a joint press conference following their meeting in Versailles, near Paris, France, Monday. [Stephane de Sakutin/Pool Photo via AP]
  5. In this Dec. 4, 2016, file photo, Tiger Woods watches his tee shot on the third hole during the final round at the Hero World Challenge golf tournament in Nassau, Bahamas. Woods has been arrested on a drunken driving charge in Palm Beach County , various media outlets are reporting. [AP photo]