Former Navy Medic and Baker Hughes Employee Assists Family During Dangerous Oklahoma City Area Tornado
By Allison Satterwhite
We'd like to honor the efforts of a former Navy Medic and current Baker Hughes employee who helped a family during the violent Oklahoma City-area tornadoes the evening of May 31st. Gregory Karnes of Oklahoma City was trying to get his elderly mother away from the deadly tornado super cell, that killed at least sixteen (16) people and wounded more than one-hundred (100) others. This follows the deadly tornado that hit Moore, Oklahoma May 20th. "With a potential tornado tracking to my mom’s house, it looked safe south of here," said Karnes. "So I took my mom to Norman,
but the storm followed us. Eventually, I found us at a dead end in far SE Norman in a new housing development with the storm bearing down on us. I saw a guy who introduced himself as Donnie LeJeune, outside a house and asked if we could stay there (he is in the oil & gas business with Baker Hughes.) He said that this was actually his neighbor’s house and the storm shelter was full, but he took us down the street to his house (with no storm shelter). Donnie got us blankets and everything. When I suggested that maybe Donnie should get back to the storm shelter with his wife and 3 year old son & his sister-in-law and her 2 young kids, he told me that before joining Baker Hughes, he was a Navy Medic attached to a Marine unit in Iraq and that it was just not in his nature to leave people in need. In fact, he had been assisting with the devastating storm damage in Moore. During this tornado, he seemed perfectly willing to die with strangers so long as he was convinced his own family was safe. How do you ever adequately say 'Thank You?' I ended up meeting his wife Keidra, sister-in-law, and their kids. All wonderful people."