Puerto Rican Vietnam Veteran, Down to Last Insulin Dose, Says Hurricane Maria Is 'Worse' Than War
Miguel Olivera is without power in Puerto Rico after the devastating hurricane, and he is down to his last insulin dose
Hurricane Maria caused untold amounts of devastation across Puerto Rico when it made landfall in mid-September. Much of the island hit by Maria’s 155-mph winds seem as if they were destroyed by bombs, and for one combat veteran, the destruction is worse than what he experienced while serving in Vietnam.
Miguel Olivera, of Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico, is one of the millions still without power on the 100-mile-long island. He and his wife, Diana Aponte, 73, took shelter inside their home when Maria hit. As the storm’s ferocious winds slammed debris and rain into their home—built above a ravine in the mountains overlooking San Juan—the two seniors braced for what they thought was certain death while curled up on their living room floor, according to a report from CNN’s Bill Weir.
Olivera and Aponte survived Maria’s onslaught, but now they are left to cope with the storm’s aftermath. For Olivera, that means finding a way to keep his last vial of insulin from spoiling in a refrigerator still without power after an electricity tower fell next to the couple’s home. The entire community is without electricity, according to CNN.
When asked by Weir how the hurricane compares to coming into contact with Agent Orange in Cambodia and facing off against the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War, the 75-year-old responded, “The hurricane is worse.”
Aponte is grateful they made it past the storm’s fury, but now she is focused on her preserving her husband’s health.
“I can’t describe the storm. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life,” Aponte told CNN. “I thank God I’m still alive.”
RELATED VIDEO: Puerto Rico Is 100 Percent Without Power in the Aftermath of Hurricane Maria—Here’s How You Can Help With Disaster Relief
President Donald Trump announced this morning he is going to visit Puerto Rico on October 3 to see the devastation firsthand. Hillary Clinton and Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló recently called on Trump to offer more support for the island before it becomes a “humanitarian crisis.”
For ways to help the organizations that are working to support victims on Hurricane Maria, donate here.