Katrina Evacuee Talks to TJC Psychology Students

Psychology students heard the voice of a Katrina evacuee, and a 1988 TJC alum at Tyler Junior College this morning. Ronald Anderson has not been back to TJC since he graduated. This morning he got a chance to tell his story.

"Everything that this college has done for us and this town has done for us, this is the least I can do," said Ronald Anderson, New Orleans Evacuee. "The very least." Anderson talked about a number of things. He talked about the choices he had to make.

"Do I stay here?," said Anderson. "Can my house handle this, or should I leave?". He also talked about the hurricane's economic impact.

"This is something that's going to have everlasting affect because on 9/11 we didn't have displaced families," said Anderson. "We had just total devastation. We have devastation now and displaced families, and they are all over this nation." When Anderson started talking about the failure behind the levy system, students wanted to know the truth. They wanted to know if it could have been prevented.

"He gave us a lot of information we didn't learn from the media," said Crystal Eiglebiger, TJC student. "He gave us the truth about the levy and things and how they kept putting it off."

Anderson said the government knew the levy on Lake Ponchatrain was not strong enough, but did not do anything about it, but right now, Anderson says the nation needs to stop pointing fingers and come together.

"What I found is in this town and in this world what it all comes down to is that we need each other," said Anderson. "It's not about color, it's not about economic situation, it's about your heart." The students agree.

"We need to be together, become stronger people, you know stand by each other," said Eiglebiger. Anderson says he's going back to New Orleans tonight to see what is left of his home. His family will stay here in Tyler, and his children will go to school in Tyler until they can move back to New Orleans.

Molly Reuter, reporting. mreuter@kltv.com