Veteran support

Veteran support

GIFFORD -- 11 storm survivors were given a gift for a very special reason.
GIFFORD -- 11 storm survivors were given a gift for a very special reason. They all have something in common; everyone of them fought for our country. As WCIA-3's Megan Brilley found, when they're hurting, someone is fighting for them.

A week ago, John Christians was sorting through his life. His home was destroyed; flattened to the ground.

"It's kind of hard to remember where it was at."

The lot where his home once stood is unrecognizable.

"You just have the will to keep going," Christians said.

But when his will is weak, there are moments helping him along on the path. He and ten other vets from Gifford and Washington were each handed a check for $1,500.

"It's a big chunk."

Thousands of dollars came from the American Legion's Disaster Relief Fund.

"No one is prepared no matter how hard they try, for a disaster that changes your life in 40 seconds," membership director Marty Conatser said.

Christians lost everything. All he could salvage from the debris were a few shirts and pairs of pants. But now he's holding onto what will help him get back on his feet.

"Actually it's probably gonna buy me a bed. That's what I'm shopping for."

Christians is living with his girlfriend in Rantoul for now, but he says no amount of damage is going to keep him away from his home and soon the empty lot will have four walls standing on it once again.

"Takes time for the wound to heal. It'll get there."

The American Legion is still trying to track down more veterans in the affected areas. If you know someone who needs help, call Marty Conatser: (309) 663 - 0361


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