Father-son duo helping in Haiti
DEBERT - Ron Lalonde and son Brian (B.J.) can soon expect a little "comfort food" from home.
"I think that would be a great treat for them," Joan Lalonde says of the cartons of Kraft Dinner she plans to send to her son and husband, who are both members of the Canadian Navy on board HMCS Halifax assisting with the rescue effort in earthquake-ravaged Haiti.
"What's more comforting really than good ol' macaroni and cheese?"
Ron and his son were both aboard the Halifax enroute to another Caribbean mission when they were called back to the port of Halifax and reassigned after Haiti was hit by a massive earthquake on Jan. 12.
"They came home for three hours and then they left," Joan said of their hasty departure.
Since then there has been little word from the pair, outside of the occasional email, which doesn't give her a lot of insight into what is happening there.
"I see what everyone sees on TV," she said. "But from them, no detail, just chit chat, the weather and so on."
Although Joan knows her loved ones are not necessarily facing any immediate danger, she is concerned about the potential for other earthquakes or that they might become ill.
"Oh, I'm very proud," she said of their involvement. "Not that I'm not worried."
But given their mission and the ongoing horrors of current life in Haiti, Joan understands that both her husband and son are likely feeling the effects and strain of everything that is going on there, more than anything else.
And, knowing from past missions how much of a longing and fondness her men and their navy brethren have for Kraft Dinner, she plans to send along a care package in the hopes of trying to raise their spirits a bit.
"We care, we think about you, you're not alone," she said of the intended message.
"And I think by now they probably need a little comfort."
Along with the comfort food, the Lalondes will also receive a handmade poster bearing the Canadian flag and as many signatures as can be mustered before the care package is sent away next weekend.
It is currently hanging on the wall at Barnhill's Superette in Debert for anyone who cares to add their John Henry.