Cajun Army continues to help victims recover, looks to expand

Cajun Army continues to help victims recover, looks to expand
Source: WAFB

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Cajun Army President Chris King says the group's entrance requirements aren't as strict as you would think.

"That's the best secret of all, is that not everybody in the Cajun Army is Cajun," King said.

You just have to be ready for whenever you're needed.

"We didn't get flooded … and I'm ex-Army, so I just wanted to help people," said Cajun Army member David Flickinger.

He spent a Saturday helping a fellow Vietnam veteran replace a wheelchair ramp that was damaged by the flood. Flickinger is a proud member of the Cajun Army, a huge network of volunteers that have helped homeowners repair and rebuild their lives after the flood. That day, they teamed up with the organization, Our Home, to complete the project.

"It's awesome to see their smiles when we're helping them and everything, and hugs … and hugs. And when we go in, we joke around, we have a good time, and involve them in it. Try to get their minds off of things. And that's what does it for me," Flickinger explained.

King doesn't view the Cajun Army as a group, but rather a movement. It traces its roots back to the Cajun Navy, which formed after Hurricane Katrina and was a big part of water rescue efforts last year.

The Cajun Army started as a Facebook group. It had about 2,500 members within a week and has since grown to more than 9,700 members across the country.

"The Cajun Navy was really just a concept about our culture and our willingness to help each other. So, fast-forward to this event. With the proliferation of social media, when something happened, these groups were able to materialize in some way or shape with some sort of organization," King added.

The primary task was gutting houses. But members also helped supply campsites for victims and have now moved on to rebuilding projects.

King has a big vision for what this movement can be moving forward. It's a vision that goes beyond Louisiana.

"The biggest expectation in what I hope it becomes is … I hope it changes our country. I hope it changes people in other communities and teaches them - this is how we're really supposed to live," King explained.

Other volunteer groups include:

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