Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
User Panel

Site Notices
Posted: 5/10/2003 7:09:21 AM EDT

DeSoto Marine returns to find home burned
DeSoto couple had no insurance, lost pets and possessions


By KATIE MENZER / The Dallas Morning News

U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Jeremy Strebeck of DeSoto was anxiously awaiting his homecoming from the Persian Gulf region when he found out he had no home left.

A fire caused by a storm destroyed his DeSoto home May 3. His wife was at work when the blaze started. Nearly all their possessions were ruined, and their two cats and pet rabbit were killed. Their dog was not injured.

I burst into tears," said Cpl. Strebeck, 26, recalling the moment he saw his home May 5 after returning from a three-month tour. "The house was black."
Cpl. Strebeck left Feb. 2 for the Gulf region, where he worked as an avionics technician, security escort and ground support equipment operator. Citing security reasons, military officials would not provide more details.

He joined the Marine Reserve three years ago and is a member of the Marine Air Logistics Squadron-41.

The night of the fire, his wife, Mary, 24, was working a shift as a student emergency medical technician at an Addison fire station. Storm winds blew over a tree near her family's home, pulling down electrical wiring. That sparked the fire that nearly gutted the house. When she came home after work, Ms. Strebeck was greeted by fire engines and police cars.

"It's the house my brother and I grew up in, so all the family memories are in this home," she said.

The reservist received word of the fire from the Red Cross two days before he was scheduled to leave for home.

Most of the couple's possessions were destroyed in the fire, including clothes, family photos and the plumbing equipment that Mr. Strebeck uses in his civilian job. But Ms. Strebeck said it is the loss of her pets, wedding dress and her husband's military certificates of achievement that tears at her heart.

"I wouldn't wish this on anyone, ever, for any reason," she said.

Despite the fire, Cpl. Strebeck said he was delighted to be home, even if his home is now a hotel room. Although the two must closely count their pennies – they had no house insurance and have been eating at fast-food restaurants – they splurged on Mexican food the day the Marine came home.

"It was a wonderfully happy day," Ms. Strebeck said.

They are hoping to move into a rented home soon but have been relying on the Red Cross, the Marines, the Navy, fire departments in DeSoto and Addison and other groups for help with some of their basic needs.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8235 is collecting money and goods to help the Strebeck family.

Donna Perry, treasurer for the post, said she understands what the Strebecks are feeling. When her husband was stationed with the Navy in Washington, D.C., about 15 years ago, their house also burned down. She said it was a difficult time for her family.

"When you're living in the military, you're living payday to payday," she said.

The Strebecks, who married in 2000, said they are overwhelmed and humbled by the support.

"This happens to a lot of people," Cpl. Strebeck said. "We're not that special."

E-mail [email protected]

Donations for Marine Reserve Lance Cpl. Jeremy Strebeck and his wife, Mary, are being handled by VFW Post 8235, 5333 White Settlement Road, Fort Worth, TX 76114. Contact Roger Perry or John Sessions at (817) 731-8231 for more information. [/red]

View Quote


edited to add..

didnt post for my heatlh..

I fully expect every Marine past or present to help in any way they can.. Give a buck. give .50 cents  but dont just read this and say "wow.. oh well to bad so sad.. "


To those those that respond.. "what I gotta help very Marine in need.. ?" short answer ..YES.  now have a good day.

Close Join Our Mail List to Stay Up To Date! Win a FREE Membership!

Sign up for the ARFCOM weekly newsletter and be entered to win a free ARFCOM membership. One new winner* is announced every week!

You will receive an email every Friday morning featuring the latest chatter from the hottest topics, breaking news surrounding legislation, as well as exclusive deals only available to ARFCOM email subscribers.

By signing up you agree to our User Agreement. *Must have a registered ARFCOM account to win.
Top Top