FORT HOOD, Texas (KWTX) A military family who lost everything during a theft on their move from Fort Drum to Fort Hood has received help from across the country including a recent room makeover from a local group.
What started out as happy journey quickly turned into a nightmare for the Sturm family.
On their trip in late April from Fort Drum, N.Y., to Fort Hood, they made a stop in Tulsa, Okla., for a wedding.
“When we came out and saw everything gone it was surreal. We felt betrayed,” Wendy Sturm said.
The family’s parked U-Haul and their Dodge Durango was stolen out of the hotel parking lot. Although the U-Haul was found hours later, inside all of their life belongings were gone.
“Baby books, baby hand-prints and footprints. First gifts from Mother’s Day, Father’s Day,” she said.
Since the theft, donations to the family have poured in from everywhere. After arriving to Fort Hood, a private message was sent from someone who had heard about the incident to Maria Reed with Moving with the Military.
From there, Reed came up with a plan.
“I said we have to help her, we have to rally the community and help them get it together. That is my favorite thing about being a military family is that when you put out the call people come, people rally,” Reed said.
With volunteers and help from the Army Emergency Relief Fund, the Sturm’s Fort Hood home was recently reorganized by Moving with the Military. A playroom was also redesigned for their two boys – ages 3 and 10 months old -- at no cost for the family.
“She had mentioned she lost all her family photos, photos of the children…gone. So, we quickly did a photo shoot, we enlarged those images and put them in the playroom so now she has photos again,” Reed said.
Days ago, the Sturm family finally got their Dodge Durango back after it was found and nearly two months in the shop with over $15,000 in repairs. The family also says those responsible for the theft were arrested.
After the recent weeks, the family says they are thankful for the outpour of support.
“There are not enough thank yous in the world for how much thanks we give to everybody for everything they’ve done for us.”