It was January 17, 2010. I was a U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel, in charge of a logistics support battalion. I had deployed to Port-au-Prince, Haiti to provide assistance and relief from the earthquake that had occurred several days before. Prior to departing, I visited an old mentor, Colonel Duane Gamble, who was currently serving as the XVIII Airborne Corps G4, the chief staff officer for logistics, at my home base, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. I asked him what he thought our mission would be in Haiti. “To clear the ports,” he replied. I left his office not knowing fully what he meant.

After arriving at the Port-au-Prince airport, I quickly realized what he had meant. Relief supplies in the form of generators, ...

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