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Veteran who lost home to wildfire finds love with fellow evacuee at Redmond motel

REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- It's been more than four months since wildfires ravaged wide areas of Oregon, but some evacuees who lost everything are still calling Redmond's Super 8 motel home.

Across the street, at the Redmond Coffee Company, Aubrey Love said she's come to know the evacuees as they frequent her coffee shop, all with different stories.

"Some of them have gone back already with their family and friends, they're starting to build houses," Love said Thursday, "Other people are still waiting on funds to come in, so that's a lot of people still at Super 8."

Speaking to evacuees Thursday, one who was out walking his dog said he was worn out by living in the motel.

Detroit resident David Kilby said there are also other issues, as the public's focus on the fires has been largely overrun by other big events.

"The election -- I get it, you know. But we've been forgotten, I think, by most people," Kilby said.

In fact he said, some of the simple gestures of caring he recalls fondly are now a thing of the past.

"We would go to Full Throttle to get coffee, and people would like walk up and ask us if we are okay, hand us 20 bucks buy us coffee, things like that," he said. "It's gone."

Kilby said before the fire, he was living alone, and thinking about moving out of state to be near family, the fire making the situation worse.

"You know, the first two weeks were really hard," he said. "I was in the room by myself. I didn't have a vehicle."

However, at the motel, things started to look up for the Marine, as he met a woman, and the two have been hitting it off.

"Honestly, being with her has made it a whole lot better," he said.

In fact, things are going so well, Kilby said they are looking at new beginnings, when they leave the hotel.

"We're going to get a house," he said. "We're trying to stay here in Redmond, because we've honestly met a lot of great people here."

Central Oregon / News / Redmond / Top Stories
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Blake Allen

Blake Allen is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Blake here.

Comments

7 Comments

  1. Z21 isn’t doing a very good job portraying this veteran marine. None of the marines I served with would whine about people not still giving him money. They would have been grateful and humble that they received anything at all. The Marines I know were trained to be self sufficient, and proud of it.

  2. Handouts don’t last forever, bub! Maybe the Corps will allow him to reenlist or else he might have to find a nice offramp stoplight where the $20’s flow freely…

  3. It is my understanding the community took over housing and meals when Red Cross moved onto other disasters. Aside from Red Cross many community resources are available and contributed including the State of Oregon, DHS, St Vincent De Paul, Rogue Food Unites, just to list a few. Also many community members donated and still do. Several organizations provided Christmas help as well. I was amazed at the community out pouring before I left and very thankful I had a home to go back to.

  4. Wow you people just amaze me I don’t think he was saying that’s what he wanted was handouts anymore he was just saying that people where more sympathetic towards them when it first happened.And now its not news worthy anymore so they feel forgotten. But hey way to make yourselves look so fing high and mighty its people like you that make this country so fing bad in other peoples eyes. And I agree with him they have been forgotten in the news the news channels would rather report on some persons BLM flag that got vandalized or somebody’s American flag got vandelized. Please keep spreading the hate obviously its what people want. Nobody cares about somebody who served his country and lost everything to a disaster that oh bye the way kate brown let burn so she could get more federal money and didn’t care who it affected but go ahead people keep making fun of and ridiculeing someone who lost everything. Enjoy your great lives and don’t pay attention to people that do need our help. Your all just plain disgusting.

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