A Dream Destroyed

Sept. 2, 2005 8:53 a.m.
Biloxi, Miss.

Thursday I met several residents of a predominantly Vietnamese neighborhood in Biloxi, whose homes were flattened by Katrina's towering storm surge.

They fled Vietnam 30 years ago with nothing, and built a life here in America. Now they have nothing again.

"How are you?" I greeted one man as he climbed over piles of wood framing, wallboard, insulation, and a chunk of his neighbor’s roof in his front yard.

"Fine!" He said with a smile. "I'm alive."

His neighbor, Mai Nguyen, worked as a blackjack dealer in the Magic casino, moored a block away on the Gulf. The hurricane's 25-30 foot wall of water picked up the casino barge and carried it a couple hundred yards, dropping it a few steps from Mai's front lawn.

His lost livelihood stared him in the face as he searched in vain through the rubble of his American dream. But he was most upset about the Ford pickup crushed under piles of wood in his driveway.

"I promised my friend I'd take care of it,” he told me, his eyes welling with tears. His friend had died and left him the truck.

I tried to comfort him with a hand on his shoulder as he cried.

E-mail Rick


You’re doing a great job. I hope someone is taking care of you, the crew, other reporters and rescue/relief workers. I don’t know how you’re coping and doing what you’re doing.

Earlier Fox News tried to get answers (from political guests) to why the New Orleans/Louisiana leadership has been “invisible” to their citizens and the rest of the nation. Where is the leadership? Why don’t they go to the Superdome to help create calm and order? Their simple, physical presence could do so much for the morale of those citizens. Don’t you think? Can you shed some light on this? Stay safe.


Hi Rick,

Appreciate all your great reporting from Biloxi both before and after Katrina. Without you and the other FOX reporters we wouldn't know what's really going on in the Gulf. Thanks for your continued dedication to this devastating situation. Please let the people of Biloxi know South Florida is praying for them and here to help. Stay Safe Rick!


Like most people around the world, I am compelled to watch FNC's coverage of hurricane Katrina. It is impossible to believe that these scenes are not in Bangladesh or some other third world country. I can only imagine the despair & heartache these people are suffering.

Please tell the people of Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama that their friends in England are keeping them in their hearts and send their love & support.

Basingstoke, England


Wwe watched you in Iraq and were very taken back by you courage and tenacity. Now we watch you in the Gulf States and are taken back by your compassion. Keep up the good work and please know that you along with other survivors are in our prayers.

Claremore, OK

It is so sad to see all of the devastation down in LA, MS, and AL. Stay safe and please let the people down there know that our thoughts and prayers are with them. I know that all of them supported us in NYC 4 years ago and I want them to know that I am returning the favor through a donation.

Wendi (Brooklyn NY)

Hi Rick;

Just want to say, very good and very personable coverage. It is always good to see a reporter
have a sense of humility in his reporting. It must be totally heart-breaking to do this coverage. I feel only a humble heart within can bring forth the results of this storm and convey the loss of these people. Great job Rick. God bless you buddy.


Hi! Rick,

You are doing really great work in Biloxi. Your commentary is excellent showing the true stories the people are going through in Biloxi.



You can never know how much you are appreciated. The reporting you have done on the hurricane is bringing home the sorrow and tradgedy happening to our friends in neighboring states. It is very obvious it's not just a job you are doing. You have your heart and soul in your reporting. I say a prayer for you each time I see you reporting that you'll be safe and have your needs taken care of. Thank you again for giving us the Human side, not just the reporter side.

Little Rock, AR


When devastation like this (Katrina) occurs, it really serves to put everything into perspective. All the daily ugliness over our own selfish concerns, even if those are the most important concerns to us, pale in comparison to the indescribable horror we are viewing right now. Just know, Rick, how much you are appreciated for the work you do!

Austin, Texas

Have you seen Atkinson Road in Biloxi? It is close to the Bay side. I have an elderly Aunt and Uncle that stayed there. Our family is desperately awaiting word on their lives.

Good luck, Rick! Stay safe down there in the hurricane territories! You're doing a great job with the reports. I've been a fan of yours for a long time.

Valarie in Ohio


My sister and her family live in the Windance subdivision, Orange Grove area of Gulfport, most news crews are covering close to the beaches only, we would love to hear about further out. My sister and her husband and two sons and daughter-in-law with their 3-month-old grandbaby are there. We have not heard from them since 12:00pm on Tuesday during the beginnings of Katrina hitting. Other family further out hwy 49 lost their homes so needless to say we would love a report on the other side of I-10. My sister is a State Farm Agent in Gulfport and felt she needed to stay because of her responsibility. Her name is Teri Eaton. If ya'll can send a crew over that way, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your coverage of the Biloxi and Gulfport areas, we love Fox News at this house and it is all we ever watch to get the real truth about what is going on in the world! WE APPRECIATE YOUR WORK AND DEDICATION TO THE PEOPLE OF AMERICA!!!!

Atlanta, GA


I cannot imagine what it must be like to see the things that are you are witnessing in person. Just seeing it on the news is devastating. It is difficult to see so much suffering & know there is not much I can do but donate money. Just doesn't seem like that's nearly enough.

Thank you so much. You have shown courage & kindness in your coverage. Thank the Lord for Fox. It's the best hurricane coverage I've ever seen. I worry about all of you there, especially those correspondents, anchors, and all of their crews who are stuck with no gas, places to
sleep, etc... & possibly having no way out of New Orleans. I am praying for everyone affected by this mess. God bless you. Stay safe.

Round Rock, TX

Hi Rick! Incredible reporting! As is the norm FOX provides the best coverage of this horrible event! My thoughts and prayers are with those poor souls going through such an unimaginable crisis! Watching from the safety and comfort of my home in upstate NY, gives me the feeling I am seeing a third world country! You and your crew stay safe, and again great job!!! P.S., how ever are you finding the time to write your blog???

Mr. Leventhal:

You and your crew are doing a great job at much personal risk to all of you. I watched you in Iraq and admire your guts greatly. YOU GUYS are our only info and thanks isn't enough to say . We have you in our prayers also.

I know you have thousands of e-mails that you can't respond to and I just hope you read this one. The railroads are a watermark for many people - my brother especially. We did hear you say south of the railroad was destroyed but what about north of it in Gulfport ( my brother's home is on 20th street)? We get conflicting reports.

FOX is all we watch - I really need a 12 step program (my family says) we even listen to it 24/7 on XM. I just had to try and see if you get this and can get info on north of the rail tracks in Gulfport especially. You guys get done there and anytime you may get to Greenville, MS I will treat you and your crew to the best steak /catfish/bbq or whatever you want - FOX ROCKS !! Bring that Ole Miss Rebel with you - I'll even feed Shep even though I am a MS State Bulldog. Stay safe.