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Oso Landslide: The Emotional Toll

September 22, 2014

Bob DeYoung was one of the first local rescuers on the scene after the Oso landslide. Instead of rescuing though, DeYoung ended up doing recovery work – pulling the bodies of friends and neighbors from the mud. Now, six months later, Bob struggles to keep his emotions in check and his marriage intact, after the trauma that continues to haunt him.

Bob DeYoung is often referred to a modern day Paul Bunyan. He works as a logger in Darrington WA, is a fishing guide in Alaska, and runs hunting expeditions out of Wyoming. He spent over a decade as a police officer, and exudes a large, tough-guy presence.

When the Oso mudslide occurred on March 22, 2014, DeYoung was one of the first local rescuers on the scene. He had the equipment and know-how to get into the slide area and look for people. Instead of rescuing however, Bob ended up doing mostly recovery - pulling bodies of friends and neighbors out of the mud.

Now, six months later, Bob struggles with emotional recovery. He’s trying to keep his emotions in check and his marriage intact, after the mudslide trauma continues to haunt him. How does a big tough guy ask for help? Slowly, but surely, with the help of his wife Julie, Bob is learning how to open up and work through his emotions.

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Stacey Jenkins

Stacey Jenkins is the managing producer of Spark Public. She is an Emmy-award winning producer who is passionate about pushing the boundaries of digital media and training the next generation of multimedia journalists. Stacey has been a Digital Content Producer at KCTS 9 for the past four years; her stories have been showcased locally on IN Close as well as nationally on SciTech Now and the PBS NewsHour's Art Beat. Stacey’s experience also includes working as a senior producer for KPTS, as an assistant media instructor and producer for Portland Community College and a TV news reporter for the CBC in Canada.

Fun Fact: Stacey’s guilty pleasures include over-the-top Halloween decor, eating sweetened condensed milk straight from the can and Maroon 5’s “Sugar” video.

More stories by Stacey Jenkins

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