XXXXXXXXXXX Oswego, KS 67356 June 2, 2011 The Honorable Pat Roberts 109 Hart Senate Office Building Washington

, DC 20510-1605 Dear Senator: The recent EF5 tornado that ripped through Joplin, Missouri on May 22 destroyed life, property, and the sense of safety that many residents felt. Large swaths of the city lie in utter ruin, and it will most definitely take years to fully recover and rebuild. Much like the Kansas City metro area, the Joplin, Missouri area does not stop at the state line. The city center provides jobs, major health services, commercial air transportation, shopping, and entertainment, among other services to the citizens of a large area surrounding the city. This area includes the Kansas cities of Pittsburg, Galena, Baxter Springs, Oswego, and Chetopa, as well as many cities in Northeast Oklahoma. Joplin is the hub of our entire region; while the official population is reportedly near 50,000, according to the city’s official website, the daytime population swells to over 250,000 people, nearly rivaling Kansas’s largest city, Wichita. Unfortunately, the list of confirmed dead shows several Kansans who lost their lives in the terror. Had the tornado struck on a weekday afternoon, there is no doubt that a much greater number of Kansas lives would have been lost. In the same way, it was the citizens of Southeast Kansas and other surrounding communities who immediately rose up to assist our friends who live within the city limits of Joplin. You see, Senator, we were not helping a distant neighbor; the EF5 tornado struck our home. As a Kansas resident and a senior at Pittsburg State University, I am writing you today to encourage you, as the Dean of the Kansas Congressional Delegation, to urge your fellow representatives to stand with the people of the Four State area, including Southeast Kansas, as we begin to rebuild. More so than to the rest of the state, our communities are immutably connected to the Joplin region, and the devastating economic effects will soon be evident. I urge your quick action in regards to this matter. Cordially,

Caleb Hays

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