Charlotte veteran helps Hurricane Ida victims

Charlotte veteran helps Hurricane Ida victims

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A U.S. Army veteran from Charlotte is reflecting on his recent trip to Louisiana and Mississippi, where he helped people affected by Hurricane Ida.

What You Need To Know

  • Curtis Drafton helped people affected by Hurricane Ida
  • Drafton quit his full-time job to focus on rescue and relief operations after natural disasters
  • Drafton has helped during six major hurricanes

Curtis Drafton quit his full-time job about two years ago to focus on giving back to others.

“To walk away from $70,000 is not the smartest move in the world,” Drafton said. “But you still wake up every day and say ‘I can make a dollar somehow’ and then I can delegate where my dollar goes.”

Drafton works odd jobs and lives with his friend. He also drives a 14-year-old sedan to natural disaster zones around the country. He recently got back to Charlotte after riding out Hurricane Ida and helping victims of the storm.

“When your car shakes as though 50 people are trying to overturn your car,” Drafton said, “You wonder if you got into the right line of field.”

Once the storm passed over Louisiana and Mississippi, Drafton jumped into the action by knocking on nearly 40 doors to check for survivors.

“At three homes, we had people in there hanging on by a thread – meaning they might have had a glass of water or a piece of old bread left,” Drafton recalled.

Drafton has helped during six major hurricanes and dozens of other natural disasters, including in Haywood County after Tropical Depression Fred caused devastating flooding.

“It takes a while to create a home and some of these people have been living in these homes for 40 to 60 years,” Drafton said. “My heart goes out to them, and that’s what gets us going every day is the broken heart.”

In addition to helping with natural disasters around the country, Drafton is the founder of the U.S. Veteran’s Hall of Fame.

“I want to be part of the overall good in this country,” Drafton said.

Drafton is planning a collection drive in the Charlotte area to help gather basic supplies and non-perishable foods for those affected by Ida. He plans to head back to Louisiana and Mississippi to personally bring the donations to those in need.

A date for the collection drive is yet to be determined.

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