Victims' Rights Caucus


Mr. Speaker, as the howling winds and incessant rain from the ``Lady of the Gulf--Rita'' moved closer to southeast Texas, 90 percent of the population in my district evacuated, but the first responders in Beaumont and other towns were worried about where to ride out the looming summer storm and potential floods.

Docked in the Port of Beaumont were the Cape Vincent, helmed by Captain David Scott, and the sister ship Cape Victory, with Captain Kevin Brooks. These two massive vessels transport military cargo to Iraq and Afghanistan.

The captains and the mayor, Guy Goodson, met briefly. The plan: Use the ships. The ships were loaded with first responders and police cars, fire trucks, ambulances, city dump trucks, front end loaders and even police helicopters. The expert ship crews coolly but quickly took little time in safely securing our first responders and their equipment. Tugs in the port operated during the howling hurricane winds to secure the ships.

In this operation, there was no senseless red tape, no forms were filled out, no committees met, and no permission from bureaucrats was sought. The people of Texas appreciate Captain Brooks and Captain Scott and their crews for, as we say in Texas, ``Gittin' `er done.''