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TMCNet:  The Norman Transcript, Okla., Linda Henley column: Monday's storms reveal a special kind of heroism [The Norman Transcript, Okla.]

[May 15, 2010]

The Norman Transcript, Okla., Linda Henley column: Monday's storms reveal a special kind of heroism [The Norman Transcript, Okla.]

(Norman Transcript (OK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) May 15--NORMAN -- What do you do when a tornado hits your home? What do you do when a twister blows through, knocks down your fence, rips the shingles and siding off your house, wipes out your cell phone service and -- the last thing you hear before it knocks out power and Internet to your workplace -- is taking aim at the area where your in-laws live? If you're Shana Adkisson, you sit throughout the evening in a dark newsroom at a computer hooked up to a gasoline-powered generator on the balcony, and you lay out the paper.

"When this is over, I'm buying you a margarita," I told her. It seemed more practical than pinning a medal on her, which is what I wanted to do.

Shana isn't the only one.

A Moore assistant police chief told our reporter Peggy Laizure, "This is the third time this has hit my house, and I'm getting real tired of it." And where was he? Out helping the people of Moore deal with the emergency, just like all the other police officers, sheriff's deputies, firefighters, city crews, power company employees and hospital emergency department personnel whose homes took a hit while they selflessly went to work to help others.

Monday's storms, like all natural disasters, brought out the heroism and altruism in many people. Shane Kennedy and his co-workers at Country Boy IGA got their 40 customers into safety in the freezer while two tornadoes destroyed the store. CrossPointe Church worked with the Red Cross to offer shelter for tornado victims. The James Moore family of Noble organized a donation drive. Dozens, maybe hundreds of other people reached out in ways big and small to help in whatever way they could.

But often we don't think about the fact that the people out there doing their jobs throughout the storm may be victims as well as helpers. The rain falls on the just and the unjust; the tornado hits the assistant police chief's house along with yours.

It takes a special kind of heroism to put aside your own troubles and work through the storm to help others. If you're one of the people who did that Monday, I salute you. I wish I could pin medals on you all.

Linda Henley 366-3530 citydesk@normantranscript.com To see more of The Norman Transcript or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.normantranscript.com/.

Copyright (c) 2010, The Norman Transcript, Okla.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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