California’s devastating and unforgiving Camp Fire is leaving death and destruction in its wake. Countless families have been forced to flee for safety with many being left homeless and uncertain of whether their homes are still standing. One of them was Lee Brundige, a 93-year-old World War II veteran.
Lee is one of many people, whose hometown has been engulfed in flames, his being Paradise, California. The WWII vet lives alone in the home his late wife designed.
“He had no idea the fire was coming,” said Grant. (1) “He just happened to have his gardener there who started banging on his windows to wake him up.”
Thankfully he heeded the warning to evacuate, however, with no idea where he would end up.
At first, Lee wound up at a town called Oroville in a parking lot with other evacuees about 11 miles south of the fire. That’s where he met Tracy Grant, a woman who was helping feed the group of newly uprooted people. When Grant offered Lee a hamburger, he humbly refused saying that someone else could benefit from it more.
Concerned for his safety and well-being, Grant asked if Lee had a place to stay. But he insisted that he sleep in his car.
“I didn’t like leaving him there, but he’s very independent. So I made sure he had blankets and a pillow. I stayed with him until about midnight.” (1)
Reluctant, Grant respected his wishes. The next morning, though, Lee had to make a decision after the sheriff gave evacuees an ultimatum – evacuate or risk losing your life.
A Home Away from Home
On day two, Lee took Grant up on her offer and has been living with her, her boyfriend Josh Fox, and their two dogs, Cash and Axel.
While they’re not yet sure whether his home survived the fire, Grant has no problem with hosting Lee as long as he needs.
“We found he has many friends and is loved by his community. He can stay with us as long as he would like.” (1)
In the meantime, they have notified Lee’s son and are working towards figuring out what his future holds.
It is stories like this one that help us recognize the good amidst all the bad. There are people out there whose only intentions are to help others and make the world a better place. And after hearing what Grant and Fox have done for the 93-year-old war veteran, we’ve got a little bit more hope in our tanks today.