Hundreds of thousands of Americans responded to Hurricane Katrina by sending food, money and clothing. Thousands put their lives on hold to serve in the Gulf Coast recovery. Drew Durian, ’02, a member of the National Guard, was among them. “We were given only 24 hours notice that we would be leaving and we quickly organized our brigade of more than 2,200 soldiers and 400 vehicles to move down there. Throughout the three days that it took us to get there we constantly ran into other individuals and organizations who were heading down to help.” Drew was responsible for supervising a team of topographic analysts. He also ran convoys delivering food, water and other supplies.
Drew graduated from Lehigh with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 2002. He was commissioned into the Army and placed in charge of a platoon of National Guardsmen. He spent time on a peacekeeping mission in Kosovo patrolling the Serbian border. Today, he is a forensic engineer in charge of accident reconstruction and technology for DJS Associates outside of Philadelphia.
Drew claims that the sum of his experiences at Lehigh prepared him to face the wake of the hurricane. “At Lehigh, in addition to academics, I was always heavily involved with many activities, including ROTC and my fraternity. I believe that nothing could have prepared me better for my experiences after college than the sum of my experiences in all these organizations. They taught me the skills to deal with situations I never would have dreamed of and gave me the ability to juggle so many different tasks at once and even the two career tracks that I have now between the National Guard and my civilian job.”
Drew reminds us that in the face of devastation there is always hope. “There are many areas in the path of the recent hurricanes where there was utter and complete destruction. But as in so many other difficult situations our nation has faced, the affected area will recover, rebuild, be better than ever and be stronger for it. We have to take situations like these and look at them as opportunities to make changes for the better.”
Posted on Sunday, November 06, 2005