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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

I'm done

I am done doing interviews, telling my story, talking about this. The guilt is getting to me today. For Christ's sake, there were people in those houses. I should have looked in more houses. I wish I would have busted. This is horrible, I can't live with myself. Any media, or anyone that wishes to know any more can ask Derek Shaffer or Darin Brunin. It stops.


Danielle Brunin said...

Hi Dick,

It sounds like you and Darin both have survivor's guilt. It is common and should fade with time, but if it doesn't, be sure and talk to someone because it is a type of PTSD. From what Darin has said, both of your experiences sounded horrible, but please think of how many lives you saved just by chasing that storm. You know how people in Kansas are, unless they are told a tornado is on the ground coming directly at them, they hardly pay attention at all to warnings. The fact is that you saved lives, and I hope you can find solace in knowing that.

All the best,

Danielle (Darin's sister)

Marcus Opitz said...

Hey man,
I would'nt feel guilty. You guys helped a few people there by giving them a ride ect..The documentry of your experience will hopefully raise peoples awareness of tornadoes at night. Even a cigarette to a weary survivor shows some humanity on your alls part....I had no idea what I was witnessing when flying at 37000 feet over iowa when I could see this monster off to the west enroute to wichita.

Marcus Opitz

Brett Adair said...


You did all you could man. The chasing you guys did that night helped get the more specific statements out from DDC that night and allowed several lives to be saved. Don't live in proud that you were able to help the ones you did. I know that it never feels like you can do enough though...

Great Job and kudos to the team.

-Brett Adair-
Alabama Storm Trackers

Brian said...

These people are correct Dick. You and I are both from Kansas and we both know that a lot of people are desensitized to tornado warnings. Greensburg residents had nearly 20 minutes of warning to get clear - that is nearly unheard of even with today's technology and gutsy chasers providing accurate ground truth to a WFO in the middle of the night.

I was really concerned about the elderly couple that managed the Best Western in Greensburg because I stay there quite often after I've chased in that area for the day...I found out that they are okay and had the 20 minutes of time to evacuate the hotel - except for 1 elderly couple who refused to leave (typical Kansas mentality) and by the grace of God the room they were in was the only room left of the hotel after that monster destroyed the town and that couple was fine. But the point is that I'm 100% sure that there were a lot of people in Greensburg that carried the same attitude and didn't which case there is NOTHING that anyone could do... it is those like minded people that ended up being injured and/or killed, and you need not to beat yourself up for that - in my opinion, you did more than most people could have and you were in the right spot to help those people when it was needed most...

I know a few chasers that I think would have bypassed the destruction and tried to stay with the storm - you guys did exactly what was right and for that you have 100% of my respect!

So again, don't beat yourself up over this - you made all the right decisions that night! But, do and I mean DO talk about it...this is not something that you want to bottle up and try to bury inside you because that WILL destroy you - Don't worry about the media that will go away soon enough, find someone that can listen to your story and help you control your feelings. Talk with other chasers, talk with people that in some form or fashion can relate to what you are dealing with...but again, don't bottle it up. You're too damn good of a chaser to lose and at some point and time in the future people will need your help again.

I wish you the best and I hope I can look forward to seeing you out again on the chase!

-Brian Barnes

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