JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) -- The twister that blasted an immense hole in Joplin also smashed the carefully crafted career plans of many young professionals. With much of their community in ruins, they abandoned secure corporate jobs to devote themselves to the town's long recovery.
Zach Tusinger (TUH-sihn-gur) had recently finished law school and started his legal career when the May 22 tornado struck. His own home escaped damage, but his aunt and uncle were killed.
After the tornado, Tusinger said, he "needed to be doing something more fulfilling." He quit his job practicing insurance law at a private firm. He now helps low-income tornado survivors as a Legal Aid attorney.
The twister killed 161 people and carved a trail of damage that virtually split the city of 50,000 in half.