It was a long way to go to help, but that is the way the Red Cross works. A local couple is just back from Texas after aiding victims of Hurricane Ike. Claudia and Walt Holmes have volunteered with the Red Cross for more than 15 years. And even though they have helped out with recovery efforts like 9/11, Claudia said she was not prepared for they saw when they got to Texas. “I’ve never seen anything like this happen. It’s not something that they were really that prepared, they weren’t prepared for the enormity of the event.” But as soon as the couple was asked to volunteer they jumped at the chance. “We quick changed our schedules around and packed up and drove to Texas,” Walt Holmes said. Claudia heard about how high the water had risen during Ike, but could not believe it until she arrived in Texas and saw the evidence it left behind. “It was actually very interesting to see that the water lines on the houses were almost to the ceiling of the indoor of the house.” Walt said he was especially touched by what he saw on Galveston Island. “We got there the day before they let the residents back on the island, so we were there when they came back, which was quite a moving experience.” The couple stayed for about two weeks and helped provide food for many of the families that had lost their homes. The couple said they are happy they were able just to do what they could to provide support and comfort for those in need. Walt and Claudia say they were happy to help, and the Red Cross schedules 2 week volunteer periods. If you would like to help out like Walt and Claudia you can call the Cape Fear chapter of the Red Cross at 910-762-2683.