Kampman: ‘I saw hope'

Packers star helps clean up after Iowa tornado, and is coming to Green Bay for the latest OTAs that started Wednesday.

Not that there was any doubt, but Aaron Kampman is one of the leaders of the Green Bay Packers.

He left the tornado devastation back in his native Iowa on Tuesday night to drive to Green Bay for Wednesday's organized team activities practice. Presumably, he'll meet with the media after practice on Thursday to make his pitch for donations.

We'll beat him to the punch. If you'd like to help, you can make a donation at Lincoln Savings Bank in Aplington, Iowa, by calling (800) 588-7551.

Sunday's EF5 tornado — the strongest kind, with winds up to 225 mph — tore through Parkersburg and demolished his high school — the school that has produced Kampman and three other NFL players (Denver's Casey Wiegmann, Detroit's Jared DeVries and Jacksonville's Brad Meester — left an uncle hospitalized and killed seven.

"As a community, this is a tremendous opportunity to draw close," Kampman said. "It's easier to fight back-to-back than on your own.

"The neat thing is, I was driving through town this afternoon," Kampman added, "and I saw some American flags raised in the rubble. And I saw hope. You saw people hugging in the streets and pulling together.

"That's what I'm talking about: Small victories."

Kampman spent Monday and Tuesday manning a chainsaw to help remove some of the many uprooted and splintered trees.

"There's so much devastation, you can't look at the big picture," Kampman, a native of nearby Kesley, told the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier. "You've got to look at the small victories. That's been (the residents') rallying cry."

Steve Lawrence is a frequent contributor to PackerReport.com. E-mail him at steve_lawrence_packers@yahoo.com

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