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Vietnam Veteran House Rebuild- total loss in Butte fire.

Organized by: Nicholas Van Tuinen

Nicholas' Photo


    Please help. My grandfather is a Disabled Vietnam veteran (3 tours) whose house burnt down in the Butte fire. He was alone on the property and stayed to try to save the house until it became clear that it wasn't possible for him to accomplish. The main goal was to save the house, but after the ash settled, our families thoughts turned to things of sentimental value that couldn't be replaced. A secondary goal for this fundraiser is to replace the ribbons and medals earned by my grandpa and great grandpa (Korea, WWII). 

    My grandpa lost a young son in the house to cancer and his heart is "up on the mountain". His health is not what it used to be and he currently has heart problems as well as arthritis that make the rebuilding process more difficult to do than the first time he built the house on the property. 

     I am his grandson, currently enlisted in the United States Air Force. Luckily, being stationed here in California, I am able to take time to help and rebuild what he has lost. Our whole family grew up helping build the house that once stood but now it is nothing but ash. I want to bring back what he once had and use funds to purchase tools, lumber and anything we can get to start rebuilding.

    I may have not captured the emotional side of this tragedy but this is something my sister posted alongside a picture of my grandfathers home- "so many things in our lives we assume to be permanent. Of course we know at some point we will lose family members, friends, animals-because we know that life is not forever. Other things we are so used to having and never imagine that one day we will wake up and it will simply be gone. There are some places in the world that will always feel like a home to us, not because we spend everyday there, but because of the feeling we experience while in that place. The walls hold stories of laughter and love, it's the familiar smell when you step out of the car. It's the way you can hear the frogs at night, it's the ghost stories with your brothers and grandpa around the camp fire. It's a place where we have memories from very young and as we grow older we plan to create these memories with our own families, swimming in the pond, shooting guns, or taking a ride on grandpas tractor. I never would have imagined that the home that my grandpa built from the ground up to raise his children and grand children in would one day just vanish - it was consumed yesterday by the Butte fire. Again I am reminded that everyday is an opportunity to create memories, not only in these special places, but with the special people in our lives. The world changes and things we never expect to happen-happen. Life is a journey, it is mysterious and it doesn't always answer our questions- in all of the chaos, learn to revel." These words she put next to a picture of my grandfather's home express the feelings that us grand children feel and I can only imagine the exponential hurt running through our parents minds because I know the tears shed are only a fraction of the hurt among us. Please help. It would be appreciated to the fullest extent.


Organized by

Nicholas Van Tuinen

This is a direct to organizer fundraiser.

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