Remembering The 2011 Earthquake And Tsunami In Japan: Five Years Later (News)


The 2011 earthquake, tsunami and subsequent nuclear reactor meltdown in Japan had countless repercussions. Many of the US Military and Civilian Personnel stationed in Japan at the time saw firsthand, the effects of the devastation. Then they experienced a vacuum of food and water supplies. People would come into the store and they were just buying candles, buying batteries, you know getting ready for the next wave. And it was at that time that I reached out to my fellow store directors, and said, “Hey, can you send me some batteries, can you transfer me some flashlights?” To a person, every single one of them reached back and provided that support. The Commissary was able to get the store back up and running that night on generator power, but with roads, bridges and railways highly damaged the challenge became navigating the supply lines. We arranged, for instance, with the bakery to send up baked products from Tokyo, from the Tokyo area. And they couldn’t come up the main road because of the contamination, so they came up the back way, brought in key essential like bread, milk, fruits and vegetables. But by doing that we were able to ensure that we received supplies. After the Commissary resolved the supply for US Personnel, many of the employees joined in community and vendor efforts to provide aid to the Japanese people. I think we were able to successfully collect somewhere around seven tractor trailers of coats and jackets and blankets, and then go out in the local communities and give them out. Many of them had nothing. We would go into villages where there used to be houses, and we found that there were no houses, it would just be an A-frame roof, is all you would see there. I just felt honored to be able to be at that particular place, at that particular time time and be able to make a difference, with God’s help. Reporting for the Defense Commissary Agency, I’m Tony Brazier.

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