Earlier this month, a massive earthquake struck the small island-nation of Haiti, producing catastrophic damage in and around its capital city of Port-au-Prince. The earthquake has caused immeasurable human suffering. Although the total devastation is still unknown, approximately 100,000 people have been killed and more than two million people have been left homeless. During such a time of great peril and human suffering, the American people and the American government have once again stepped up as the world leader in providing aid and assistance to countries in need. As of today, the U.S. has pledged over $100 million in aid and sent 12,000 American troops to Haiti to work around the clock to coordinate rescue efforts and assist the Haitian government with maintaining order.
In particular, the people of Oklahoma have demonstrated extraordinary compassion and resolve in their response to this humanitarian disaster. Just last week, 50 soldiers and six C-17 cargo planes deployed from Altus Air Force Base to assist relief efforts in Haiti. Additionally, last week several Oklahoma families, in coordination with the Cherokee Hills Christian Church in Oklahoma City, adopted ten orphans from Haiti. The tremendous outpouring of support has made me proud to be an American and an Oklahoman. As the Haitians continue to work to rebuild their nation, I am certain that the American people will continue stand by them and assist them in their work.