An Open Letter to My Fellow Americans

I am putting out a plea to anyone who reads this.  I have 2 weeks and 5 days left. That’s it. 2 weeks and 5 days to reach over 90,000 signatures on this petition. I come to you humbled and ask you to read this letter. Really think about what I am saying.

Today marks the 4th month since the town I live in and 8 other towns where changed forever. Time will always be marked as before the tornado and after the tornado. From those who lost all, to those who didn’t; each and everyone of us has been changed by this event.  It is so easy to feel the problems of others has nothing to do with us. To stay cocooned in our bubbles until tragedy sadly makes them burst.

I’ve lived in Washington, IL for over a decade.  We had nothing to fear in this quite little town, until the day we did. What was left behind is something I never wish for anyone else to see. In the coming weeks and months, shell shocked began the process of rebuilding their lives. Post Traumatic Stress became a word known to most and a diagnosis for many. Noises, smells, sounds, all suddenly became triggers for emotional trauma long after they had settled into temporary homes.

Then along comes FEMA. The organization whose sole and only mission is to support the American people in times of disaster. To bring them closer to healing and moving forward. What they do, however, has nothing to do with healing or help. They come in and arbitrarily break their own rules when it suits them. They provide residents with a long line of hoops and asked them to jump like good little monkeys before the can be helped.

I know what I am asking people to do is not popular. After all in a big brother world turned real, people worry about ramifications. People worry if they speak out about FEMA they will somehow put themselves in the limelight. Will make themselves a target. I understand the concern. 

I remember though why people like my grandfather fought for our country. People like my great grandparents who left everything behind in their countries for a better life. Because in America, we have a choice. We have the choice to use the voices that our service men and women have fought to protect. We have a choice to stand up and be heard. To say enough and no more.

This is my issue, your issue, your children’s issue. It may feel as if it will never happen in your hometown. Until 4 moths ago I would have agreed with you. The reality is it did happen. You can say “Not my problem, it won’t happen here” and who knows? Maybe you’ll get lucky and it never will but I have to ask you, WHY? Why take that chance?

Why wait until something horrific happens in a place you love to find your voice? Your passion? Why wait until it’s your family, your friends going through what we are before you speak up and speak out?

Below this letter are links to articles that you can feel free to read. They all same the same thing. Town after town after town denied aid by FEMA where it was obviously warranted.

Our voices mean nothing if they stay silent. If we choose to play pretend, act like it can’t happen or worse, it won’t. It can, it does and it did. We are but one example of many that have been traumatized a second time. Not by mother nature, but by the very people put in place to assist us when she shows her wrath.

This isn’t my petition. It’s OUR petition and it does absolutely no good if people aren’t willing to stand up for it and themselves.

  1. FEMA denies additional West Assistance
  2. FEMA denies aid to Washington, IL and 8 other counties
  3. FEMA denies aid to 3 Hard Hit Towns
  4. FEMA denies Arizona’s Yarnel Disaster Aid Request
  5. Disaster Declarations Exasperate Governors
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