A U.S. military veteran and his family face a long, uphill battle after flood waters destroyed their home. This military family, like many others in the Ozarks, had their lives turned upside down when their homes were flooded after Christmas.
When Justin and Alisha Smith returned home after Christmas from visiting family, they found their home under water. Everything they had worked for was gone. They brought their children - ages three and one - back to try to explain why they cannot move back into their home yet.
"I've always wanted to put a roof over my kids' heads, and after we came home from this, the things I've done for this house and the things we've done, it's just crazy to lose it," Justin Smith said.
Starting over after serving his country in Afghanistan was difficult. Starting over after the flood feels nearly impossible.
To make matters worse, the veteran and his wife discovered that although they thought they had flood insurance, they actually did not.
"We thought that we had insurance, flood insurance, then we found out that was a separate buy on that we were not told about. That's when things kind of really sunk in that we didn't know what we were going to do," Alisha Smith said.
While insurance won't cover the damage, the Smiths learned Friday they will get some help from the federal government as thirty-three counties in their area are included in the federal disaster declaration. Though thankful for it, they dread the process of starting over once again.
"People ask us what we need, and I say, 'Give us toys. Give us something to get their minds off of whats going on right now,'" Justin Smith said.
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