When rising waters ran the Thigpen family out of their home, VFW was here to help.


Imagine that you're returning home from a long day of high school. You can’t wait to go to your room and wind down. You enter to realize that all of your belongings have been drenched with sewage.

For 17-year-old Nate Smith, Jr., this scenario is reality. His laptop, shoes, clothes, dresser, bed—all ruined. To make matters worse, Nate’s stepfather, Sgt. Roderick Thigpen, was deployed to Afghanistan at the time.

“Nate was devastated,” said Nate’s mother Reashea Thigpen. “This isn’t the first time his things have been damaged. The house has flooded twice before. He just kept asking me how this could happen again.”

Reashea called on her landlord to hire a plumber. The plumber declared the damage a dangerous health hazard and advised Reashea to take her four children, ages 6 through 17, and vacate the premises.

“I told my husband Roderick about the flood, but I never told him how bad it was because I was afraid it would distract him from his mission,” said Reashea. “In all actuality, we left with the clothes on our backs.”

Reashea contacted Family Readiness Group Representative Donna Nelson for help.

“Donna was great. She helped me find a hotel and directed me to the VFW Department of North Carolina,” said Reashea. “From there, a VFW Unmet Needs grant covered the hotel expenses.”

Reashea is grateful for the support.

“I am greatly appreciative to anyone who helps military families. There really are good people out there.”

After spending six weeks at The Airborne Inn at Fort Bragg, the Thigpens are back at home safe, sound and dry.



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