Even looking down from the air, as we swept over earthquake-ravaged areas of Turkey in a U.S. Marine helicopter, we were impacted by the incredible heartbreak which we know will cling to our hearts forever.
And down on the ground, with the unmistakable stench of death assailing our nostrils -- driving through literal miles of twisted and tilting buildings -- the tragedy of Turkey took up what will be its permanent residence in our minds and hearts.
The world knows those mind-boggling stats. When we return to Payson and Rim country, about all we'll be able to add are names and faces... tales and tears stamped as indelibly in our memories as the images on film and video.
We are deeply grateful for the courtesy and helpfulness of Turkish government officials, from our first contacts with the consulate in Los Angeles to the harried local and regional authorities in places such as Ismit, Golcuk and Adapazati.
And we will never forget the encouragement we felt as we attended daily briefings in the Command Post in Istanbul conducted by the U.S. military -- and then saw the inter-service cooperation of American Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines out in the field.
Randy Roberson, June Pereira and I feel that we now have a good "handle" on the situation here... that we have found ways in which to help, really help, as we return to Payson to tell the story in detail -- and to mobilize meaningful assistance.