My heart is broken for Jake and Jill. Yesterday, my husband Luke (Jake's brother) and I went to the house. With the help from a few of Jake and Jill's closest fellow guardsman, Bohica and Kodiak were given a proper burial on their property.
In my own life, I've had few things that have impacted me more than my experience yesterday. I sobbed as I pulled up the driveway and saw a charred, boarded up version of my son's favorite place to play. While the others took care of more important matters my father-in-law (a former Fire Chief) took me into the only accessible part of the house. My entire being was overwhelmed. I wanted to cry. I wanted to throw up. I wanted to scream. I wanted to get on my hands and knees and dig through the charred house with bare hands and find something that would make my brother and his wife find some hope. With only a flashlight, I looked at the house, seeing everything as it was now and remembering it as it was before. I asked a thousand questions of my father-in-law. I may never be able to wrap my head around what I saw or understand how a fire chooses it's path. I will forever remember the smell, the sound of glass crunching under my feet, and I will NEVER get the image of what I saw out of my mind.
There are so many good people in this world, generous people with big hearts. I have had so many people contacting me for Jake and Jill, offering their homes, their belongings, their services, even puppies from upcoming litters. Complete strangers trying to do what I am trying to do, comfort them, lighten the load, help them move on. So, thank you again to each and every one of you. Jake and Jill are completely floored and in disbelief of the community support and donations.
UPDATE: Jill has returned home safely and been reunited with Jake and her family. We cannot even begin to express our gratitude to all of you who have made monetary donations, as well as all other donations. Above all, the condolences, well wishes, and support for them is the greatest gift of all and has reached a magnitude we never imagined possible. Thank you all again so much for every penny, donation, and prayer.
For donations in Duanesburg and surrounding areas the drop off is at the Esperance Elks Lodge. If the Elks is not open they can leave any donations at the Hillview Tavern in Duansburg and a bartender will ensure they get to the Elks Lodge.
I created this page as a means to initiate a way for my brother-in-law and sister-in-law to begin the healing process after having their lives shattered at the worst possible time. They literally have nothing to their names. While insurance will help rebuild their home and replace some lost personal items, this process will take time. People have been most generous and the generosity will be returned as an excess of funds will be donated in Bohica and Kodi's names to the charity of their choice.
The overwhelming support from family, friends, strangers, and the community has been amazing.
Our family is grateful for your continued understanding for their need for privacy as they take this time to reunite with one another and take the necessary steps to move forward from this tragedy.
UPDATE: PLEASE TAKE NOTE: Jake and Jill's home is private property. NO MEDIA OUTLETS HAVE PERMISSION TO BE ON THEIR PROPERTY AND NO FAMILY MEMBERS WILL BE GIVING INTERVIEWS AT THIS TIME....
We appreciate the help getting the story out but that is what we need is help and support.
Thank you to everyone for the outpouring of support. Jake and Jill are incredibly grateful, overwhelmed, and humbled by everyone's generosity. They are asking at this time that their privacy be respected, especially by those of the media. While this is a newsworthy story, the safety, sanity, and well-being of their family is of the utmost priority. They have suffered a terrible and tragic loss. At this time, they are still trying to just get Jill home to her husband. Details of her arrival are being kept private, even from family.
Thank you again to everyone. I will update as more information becomes available.
Jake and Jill lost their home in a fire on December 19th, 2013. The entire contents of their house was lost including their two wonderful dogs, Bohica and Kodiak who will never be forgotten.
For those of you who do not know Jake and Jill, they are both proud members of the National Guard. Jake is a combat veteran with two overseas tours. Jill left for first tour and has been deployed for 10 months and was scheduled to arrive home Saturday, December 21st. She now has to come home to complete disarray, making an already difficult transition back into her life a lot harder.
Everything they own has been lost.
Please help them rebuild their lives as they have dedicated their lives to protecting our country.