We can show you the pictures, but Officer Kevin Schlagel says you can't know until you've seen it for yourself.
"You get pics of the roof," he says, "but you can't see the personal effects laying on the ground, the dead animals..."
Officer Sean Mills describes the smell of the city, 15 miles away. He says thats what hit him first, and then the waves of excitement each time they rescued a needy person.
Both were part of a 98-person Michigan team that spent the last two weeks securing New Orleans. They rescued 150 people, stuck in their homes after the storm.
"By the time, we got down there, they were ready to go," Schlagel says.
Saturday morning, on their home turf, both officers got a plague of recognition from the governor, via State Senator Virg Bernero.
"Everything I've done in my career was training me to do something like this," Mills says.
They spoke at the cermeony, not of the recognition, but of the 12-day experience, one they'd both endure again in a heartbeat.
"My bags are still packed--I can jump right in the car and be ready to go," Schlagel says.