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View Full Version : Dick Allgire enroute to the Philippines...



Glenn B. Wheaton
2006-Feb-19 Sun, 19:55
Aloha All,

Dick is leaving tonight on a C-17 from Hickham on his way to the Philippines to cover the recent disaster there. Safe travels Dick.

Glenn

Sita
2006-Feb-20 Mon, 11:23
We want a full report when you report Manong Dickie...

Safe journeys!

Sita:cool:

Dick Allgire
2006-Feb-20 Mon, 20:38
Photographer Sonny Ahuna and I headed out to Hickam Air Force Base at 8 PM to board the newest C-17 to Leyte, Philippines with humanitarian relief. We thought we were going to fly all night (stop in Guam) and get to Tacloban, Leyte early Tuesday, have a day to find a way down to the village, shoot our stories, and get a ride back with the Marines in time to fly out with the C-17.

I had a funny feeling that this was not right as we drove out to Hickam. I've learned to listen to that voice because of my RV tagging experiences. I wondered how I could get out of this trip that I had volunteered for.

We were told the flight was pushed back a half hour, then an hour, then another 90 minutes. Talking with the PAO I learned that as long as we stayed with the C-17 we had a ride home, but if we went to the village buried in mud on south Leyte we would be on our own. Maybe, MAYBE the Marines would get us a ride home, but they might go thru Okinawa. We might be stranded for days or weeks. Might have to find a way to get to Manila on our own, then pay our own way commerical. The C-17 was going to touch down, drop a pallet of supplies and fly out. The Air Force PR people wanted us to do a story on their new jet flying in supplies. The PAO was evasive. I asked "how long will it be on the ground? When will it return?" He replied, "Well, we'll know more when we get there." Alarm bell.

I knew they would not keep the newest Air Force cargo jet on a tarmac at an out of the way Philippine airport (no US bases in Philippines anymore) for more than a few hours. The trip was no good if I could not get down to the affected area.

We waited until about 1 AM, shot video of them loading the supplies, and I said "Let's go home." So I slept in my own bed. I was up for the adventure, but the the planning, logistics, and time table didn't feel right.

Turns out the flight was grounded for 24 hrs anyway because the new jet had mechanical problems. Ground crew hinted to us, "This bird ain't flying."

My wife was very happy when I came home at 2 AM. As a journalist you want to go cover a big story, even if it involves hardship. It was not meant to be.

Aloha,

Dick