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TROOPERS Emily Valicek, a fourth grader at St. Francis Episcopal School, and her family housed 13 state troopers during Hurricane Harvey.
During the Big Flood, my family and I housed 13 state troopers. While they were helping rescue from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., we were at home answering the door to friends who brought food, toiletries, laundry detergent, blow-up beds, waders, anything they thought we might use. People we didn’t even know were so kind to bring things to help.
Every night for about eight nights, eight Troopers slept at our house, three slept at one neighbor’s house, and two others stayed with another neighbor. They would come home from work, shower and all come to our house for dinner. There were 11 men and 2 women – they were all sweet and fun. We watched TV, talked or played. They are now our extra family!
We would get together, say a blessing and eat a homemade meal made by one of the wonderful families who helped us. Everyone wanted to help the troopers so they could do their important job of rescuing people. Our street was the safest place to be, with all of the police cars.
The night before they came, my dad and brother rescued some friends from their home that had water in it. My mom, sister and I were getting the house ready for the troopers. Luckily, our friends were willing to help us prepare for more guests, and no one minded getting up early to work. I am so happy that my mom’s cousin Rusty asked if he and a “few” of his buddies could come stay. Rusty Weatherby lives in Big Lake, Texas. The other 12 men and women live all over west Texas – Junction, Eldorado, Marfa, Andrews, Odessa and Midland.
On the last night they were all here, the troopers got us all together in our kitchen and presented my mom with a special framed piece of one of their uniform shirts that they had all signed. It is so neat. I was so happy that two of my favorite new friends gave me a little teddy bear wearing a green state trooper T-shirt – I call him “Trooper.”
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