BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - An Army veteran and his wife have one wish this Christmas: to move back into their home.
Mother Nature ripped their home apart in the August 2016 flood. Now, perhaps someone out there has the answers, or the help, they need.
Anyone who drives past Robert and Abigail Moreno’s Prescott Road home would think things are back to normal, but if you take a walk inside, the home is down to the studs more than two years after the historic 2016 flood. The Morenos, both 82-years-old, have lived in their home for more than 60 years. Now, as they walk through what was once their children’s bedrooms, it’s a walk down memory lane as they wish it was all still there.
“We lost everything, everything. We got nothing,” said Robert.
The Morenos raised five children in their home. He served in the 49th Army Division for 16 years, serving stateside in the tank division during the Korean War while she was a full-time mother. In August of 2016, life as they knew it took so many of their memories. “It has never happened in the 60 years we have lived here. I have never seen the water come out that fast,” said Robert.
With a canal in front of their home, they had little time to move their cars, pack some things, and head out. “By the time we got to the street, we were four feet of water at our waist and thank God that I held onto my wife and my grandson held onto me,” said Robert.
Fast forward two years and they say FEMA did not help because they had flood insurance. They used what insurance money they got to pay off their home and the little that was left went to living expenses. They did get a big help though from Cat Roule of the Cajun Army and her husband, Robert. They call them angels sent from God. They’ve cleaned out any leftover insulation and dug through what’s left of their attic. They didn’t find gold, but came pretty close to it.
“Letters from my dad. I recognize his handwriting,” said Abigail through her tears. As she wiped her tears, Abigail said the letters and cards went back to 1969, including Western Union greetings from when her husband was in the Army. “It means so much. It’s like treasure to me,” she said.
They also found treasure for her husband when they pulled down his helmet from his time in the Army. For Christmas, all the couple wants is to somehow be back in their own home to cherish memories and make new ones. “What I want for Christmas is my home. All I want for Christmas is for me and my wife to have our health and to have our home restored, that’s all we are asking. We are 82 years of age and I’ve asked my wife and I have asked the good Lord, please let me get back to my home so if I do die, I do want to die in my own home. That’s all we’re asking for,” said Robert.
“It’s just like a wish come true, like when kids say it’s all I want for Christmas,” said Abigail.
Despite having lost everything, they’re grateful for all they still have: Cat and her husband, other donors, each other, and most importantly, their faith.
“That’s the way I see it and God has guided us over the past two years,” said Abigail.
While it would take a true Christmas miracle to get them back in their home any time soon, that’s the wish they’re holding onto. Anonymous donors have stepped up to provide insulation, sheetrock, and electrical work. They still need kitchen cabinets, windows, a plumber, everything to restock their home, and plenty of labor.