ETX military father helps with recovery efforts in Philippines
Baby Ella hopes to see her father when he returns home from the Philippines
TYLER, TX (KLTV) -
The USS George Washington aircraft carrier arrived in the Philippines Thursday to help with recovery efforts after Haiyan. One East Texan, Jesse Mohn, who is part of the Washington Carrier Strike Group, may look familiar.
We shared his story when his wife Facetimed their daughter's birth so he could watch as she took her first breaths all the way from Japan. On November 12, he and his crew began their journey to the Philippines.
"Right now, it's a very hurried effort. They were in Hong Kong, they were told to leave immediately, which they did. Everybody is on full steam and everybody is go, go, go," said Jesse's wife, Erica McCraine, who is living in East Texas for the time being.
She plans on joining him in Japan when he returns to the Yokosuka Naval Base.
Thanks to Facetime and Facebook, she knows he is safe and doing whatever he can to help.
"What he was able to tell me is that they are purifying water. They do have some rice pallets that they were able to pick up. They are distributing as much food and water as they can," McCraine said.
We spoke to Lieutenant Commander James Stockman on the phone, who sent us several pictures of their relief effort.
He said the scope of the disaster is still being assessed, and they are not sure how long they will be there.
Right now, they are on the eastern coast with a crew of more than 5,000.
They are accompanied by several more ships and helicopters that are helping to distribute supplies.
While McCraine said she could not be more proud of her husband, she also cannot wait for the day he can hold his daughter for the first time.
"It's been really difficult. You don't want to be selfish, as a military wife I signed up for it too. I knew what I was getting into and I knew there were times that he was going to miss important events like her being born. It's very difficult to be without him during the holidays and as much as I am very proud of him, I love him, I miss him so much, I wish that he was here," McCraine said as she held her two-month-old daughter.
While she is praying they will be reunited by Christmas, she knows his time overseas is invaluable as he helps save lives.