Sunday, September 11, 2005

I Admire General Honore

General Roars Into Action in New Orleans

ATLANTA (Sept. 4) - When the cavalry finally arrived in New Orleans to help the survivors of Hurricane Katrina, a cigar-chomping three-star general led the way.

That was Lt. Gen. Russel Honore, commander of the 1st Army, based at Fort Gillem in Atlanta. Normally he oversees training for all deploying troops on the East Coast.

For the time being, the Louisiana native is the man in charge on the front line in New Orleans. He is also coordinating military relief efforts for all storm-ravaged areas along the Gulf Coast.

Honore is winning over even some of the government's harshest critics, including New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, who blasted the Bush administration's initial response to his city's disaster.

"He came off the doggone chopper, and he started cussing, and people started moving," Nagin told a radio station. "I give the president some credit on this. He sent one John Wayne dude down here that can get some stuff done."
Honore and thousands of National Guard troops rolled in Friday and Saturday, bringing food, water and a sense of safety.

The general was careful to show he was leading a humanitarian relief mission in his home state.

"Put those ... weapons down!" he yelled to troops rolling in on trucks.

He repeatedly strode up to soldiers, and sometimes the local police, telling everyone to point their guns down, reminding them they were "not in Iraq."


Honore is from Lakeland, La., northwest of Baton Rouge. He also has a daughter and other relatives who live in New Orleans, according to CNN.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press.