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Space Shuttle Columbia

(sts 107)


Recovery Efforts

February 2003


Like the rest of the country His Glory Search, Rescue and Aid Team volunteers watched as Space Shuttle Columbia broke up upon re-entry at 9:00 am CST on February 1, 2003, but unlike most of the country His Glory S.R.A.T. volunteers needed only to look out there windows to watch the tragedy unfold. By 9:15 am CST His Glory S.R.A.T. director had the International Emergency Office Coordinator in Two Harbors put all His Glory S.R.A.T. volunteers on alert and prepared to respond to assist in the recovery efforts.

In the hours and days that followed His Glory S.R.A.T. director and International office coordinator made calls to FEMA to offer their assistance in the form of trained search volunteers familiar with the area in which the shuttle debris was believed to have fallen along with off road vehicles and GPS equipment to mark sites where debris was located for retrieval later.

His Glory S.R.A.T. officials also made our secured 12 acre International Headquarters in Lufkin, Texas available for use for any command operations they may need. On February 4th more than 60 hours after the shuttle Columbia disaster began His Glory S.R.A.T. volunteers were assigned to assist the FBI with the primary task of locating the Columbia Crew remains. In the days to follow His Glory S.R.A.T. along with FBI officials braved cold, wet weather and thick under brush in east Texas in efforts to locate the remains of the Columbia crew to ensure that our National Hero’s were found and returned to their family’s and laid to rest.

On February 11th 7 days into the search His Glory S.R.A.T. with mounting operations costs and no foreseeable donations coming in we were forced to have all but a small 3 man team stand down until funding sources can be obtained and full search team operations can be reestablished.

When AAA trophy heard about our funding emergency their staff immediately went to work on making T-shirts commemorating the Columbia Crew and the volunteers and agencies dedicated to the recovery efforts to be sold to help assist with the cost thus far and to hopefully raise enough funds to reactivate all His Glory S.R.A.T. teams to continue to assist in the recovery.

In the seven days our teams were in operations we saw hundreds of volunteers and agencies pouring their hearts and soles into the recovery efforts. We would like to express our special thanks to some of the agencies and organizations we worked closely with.

Continental Airlines for providing our International Emergency Office Coordinator with round trip transportation to Texas free of charge. It is a tribute to Continental Airlines that they chose to focus on supporting the recovery efforts in a time of significant economic hardship in the airline industry.

The AAA trophy and T-shirt store in Lufkin Texas for donating the proceeds T-shirts.

The FBI agents, that we worked with in recovery of crew remains these men and women at a tribute to their agencies and treated our team members with the utmost respect.

Brookshire Brothers stores for donating gas coupons, Salvation Army, Texas Forest Service and their wilderness search and rescue team, NASA personnel, Texaco Express Lube and the countless volunteers that have assisted in the recovery.

We would also like to extent a special thanks to all our prayer warriors around the world that have continued to pray for the family and friends of the Columbia crew and volunteer assisting in the recovery efforts, your prayers give us the strength to continue in this most difficult task.

Thank You and God Bless





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