More than 50 volunteers help widow of soldier killed in Afghanistan and her 2 sons move forward after tornado

OAK GROVE, Mo. — An Oak Grove woman and her sons who have been working to repair their home since Monday night, when a tornado ripped their roof off, got some extra help cleaning up Friday.

More than 50 volunteers showed up Friday morning with two trucks full of supplies. Together they gathered personal belongings inside the home and removed downed trees around the property.

Westy Gilbert is a widow and has two young boys. Her husband was killed in action in Afghanistan.

When Lowe’s Heroes program heard her story, they wanted to help out.

Westy says she’s grateful for the support and thankful the damage isn’t worse.

“We walked away from it, no cuts, no nothing,” Westy said. “My boys didn’t have to hear anything scary. They don’t have to carry the noise with them. The aftermath sure, just as far as the noise goes, it wasn’t really that dramatic.”

Westy said the whole situation has been very emotional.

“You just get the sense that this is why I came home, back to where my roots are,” she said. “The whole town of Grain Valley and Oak Grove have been pulling together to help everybody out.”

“That’s what we were looking for,” Jim Hammonds with Lowe’s said. “Just somebody where we could get out here and just put a bunch of people on it and make it happen for her really quick.”

Lowe’s volunteers plan to be here until about 3 p.m. Friday.

Westy thinks it will take a couple more days to get the property cleaned up.

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