News: Furniture company aids Tennessee National Guard Soldier after fire destroys home
Story by Staff Sgt. Melisa Washington
SMYRNA, Tenn. - When a fire destroyed Sgt. David Adams' home in Johnson City, Tenn., this past Wednesday, he was grateful to have his National Guard family at the ready for support. The house caught fire while he was conducting annual training in Alcoa, Tenn. with his unit, Detachment 1, G Troop, 1/230th Air Cavalry. All of Adams’ belongings were destroyed, but luckily his brother, who was staying in the home at the time, was able to evacuate without injuries.
As soon as his unit learned of the tragedy, they quickly started coordinating efforts to support the displaced Soldier by seeking assistance through the Red Cross and the Tennessee National Guard Military Family Readiness Operations.
“I was really surprised and touched by how quickly everything happened. I’m very thankful for my unit,” Adams said.
Staff Sgt. Scot W. Stier, readiness noncommissioned officer for Adams’ unit, explains the importance of coordinating efforts quickly.
“I knew he wouldn’t be in the right state of mind. That’s why I’m here, so I can make sure he gets all the support he needs,” he said.
Word spread quickly through sister units and their local communities about the house fire. Staff Sgt. Karen Baugus, readiness noncommissioned officer for Detachment 1, Troop F, browsed a furniture company in Smyrna, Tenn., for household goods. She told the assistant manager about the house fire in East Tennessee and without hesitation, Michael Baugh of All American Liquidators, Inc. volunteered to donate several pieces of furniture to Adams.
For Baugh, volunteering to donate was like second nature.
“We’ve got it, so we’ll give it,” he said, “It helps a Soldier and they protect us, so it’s automatic that you donate something.”
Adams was grateful to learn about the selfless actions of the furniture company.
“I’m very humbled that people would go out of their way to donate, and I would like to be able to do that for someone else one day,” he said.
Sgt. 1st Class Derrall Tilson, Readiness noncommissioned officer for Troop G, picked up the furniture early Friday morning and will deliver it to the Louisville National Guard Armory in Alcoa, Tenn. next Wednesday. In the meantime, donations will continue to be collected and the two units will coordinate transportation of the goods from the armory in Alcoa, Tenn. to Adams’ hometown of Johnson City.
“We have a way to get the furniture to Alcoa, but we’re still working on transporting it from Alcoa to Johnson City,” Tilson said.
Dorothy Russell, family assistance specialist for the Tennessee National Guard Military Family Readiness Operations, is collecting donations to be sent with the furniture. She says several people have already come forward to donate.
“This Soldier has lost everything, so he needs everything. Everyone has something they can donate,” she said “whether it be extra sheets, towels, or a garbage can so he can get back on his feet,” she said.
For more information about donating items, please contact Dorothy Russell at 615-663-8369.
This work, Furniture company aids Tennessee National Guard Soldier after fire destroys home, by SSG Melisa Washington, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.