Story by Maj. Jennifer K. Mack, 95th Training Division (IET) Public Affairs
NORMAN, Okla. – Imagine sitting in your vehicle staring in your rearview mirror watching a mile wide tornado barrel down on your neighborhood. The heart hopes it can’t be true, but the mind knows otherwise.
Master Sgt. (Ret.) Adam C. Rudy doesn’t have to imagine. He knows the feeling firsthand. Rudy lives in Moore, Okla. and on May 20, when he received word a tornado was eminent, he got in his truck and left his home to find shelter. With about an eight minute lead, Rudy made it barely five miles before he saw the reflection of the twister mowing down neighborhoods in its path.
After the storm passed, Rudy drove back toward his community to see for himself what kind of devastation the EF5 tornado had left in its wake. As he neared the location he said he remembered thinking, “I knew it [his house] was gone, but I was still hoping it wasn’t.”
The home Rudy had lived in since 1989 was now just a pile of rubble. Memories and mementos scattered among the broken boards and shattered windows. His family’s possessions ripped away.
Despite the physical destruction, Rudy and his family were fortunate. Their entire family escaped unharmed and for that they could be grateful.
The weeks following the tornado have been tough. The family has been digging through the ruins to salvage as much as possible. Emotions fluctuate. Rudy said some days he’s fine and other days the sadness creeps in.
The second day of sifting was a happy one when one of their two missing cats appeared. The family figured it had been temporarily pinned by debris. Sadly, the other cat was never found.
Another uplifting moment came when a small ring box was found at the bottom of the crumpled home. Inside was Rudy’s wife, Roxanne’s original wedding ring which she had been keeping in the box with her mother’s wedding band. Roxanne was elated because she said the rings were what she most wanted to recover.
For Rudy, these months were supposed to be a new journey. He retired from the 3/378th, 1st Brigade, 95th Training Division (IET) in December 2012 after a 30 year career that included time in the active and reserve components. He would now have his weekends free.
Never could Rudy have known that a destructive storm would veer into his path. Those free weekends are now devoted to cleaning up and rebuilding his life. Despite this twist of fate, Rudy continues to find reasons to be inspired. He said he has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support.
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about a 98th Soldier who helped raise money for Master Sgt. (Ret.) Adam C. Rudy.