New Orleans Evacuee Joins

Utah National Guard

 

Written by Sgt. Kelly Collett

Published March 29, 2006

 

Download Printer-Friendly Version

       
 

Katrina evacuee and newly minted Pvt. Moniqueca Hamilton with her recruiter Sgt. Charles Rhodes after her swearing-in ceremony Mar. 20.

Photo by Lt. Col. James Brown

Katrina evacuee and newly minted Pvt. Moniqueca Hamilton with her recruiter Sgt. Charles Rhodes after her swearing-in ceremony Mar. 20.

SALT LAKE CITY — A victim of nature’s wrath has embraced the organization that aided her state in its time of need.

 

New Utah Army National Guard recruit Pvt. Moniqueca Hamilton, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 142nd Military Intelligence Battalion, noticed that the military helped her state recover from the devastation created by Hurricane Katrina.

 

“I saw the way they came to help, because there wasn’t a lot of help down there for everyone,” she said.

 

From the age of 12 Hamilton has longed to be a culinary artist. She joined the Utah Guard to become a food-service specialist, and now the Guard will help her dream become a reality very soon.

 

Hamilton was sworn into the Guard Mar. 20 and will report to Basic Training at Fort Jackson, S.C. in June.

 

When Hurricane Katrina devastated her home city, Hamilton was seven months pregnant. The fury of Katrina destroyed her fiancÚ’s home along with many others.

 

Hamilton was not among the nearly 600 Katrina evacuees brought to Utah and housed temporarily at Camp Williams. Her journey to Utah began after she and her fiancÚ evacuated from New Orleans to Georgia where they signed up for assistance. They soon received a sponsor family in Utah and traveled the 2,000 miles by bus to their new home here.

 

Hamilton feels like the birth of her baby and the move to Utah have given her a second chance.

 

“This is a place where we can start over. We have a new family now, so it’s like a new start.” Hamilton observed.

 

“I was looking around to see what would be the best for my son and me, and the Utah Guard—from everything I learned—would be the best thing for us,” she added.