MALDEN, MO (KFVS) - The sun was out in Malden, MO on Thursday, March 8, and so were dozens of motivated people who busy cleaning yards and repairing houses two weeks after an EF2 tornado damaged 66 homes and hurt four people.
U.S. Army Veteran Jimmy Bond served two years during the Vietnam War and has lived at in Malden for about ten years. Bond said he has never been a morning person but that he has been up getting up early every day since the tornado hit.
"The noise level is too high I can't sleep," Bond said. "I have to get up because there are so many volunteers running around. In my yard, their yard, all up and down the street, with heavy equipment, and power tools. It's been going on constantly."
A handful of Volunteer veterans with the non-profit Team Rubicon spent an hour clearing out a destroyed carport in Bond's backyard and making sure his roof was watertight. Bond said it was a night and day difference and was very happy with the work.
"These people came to me and said 'Can we help you, and I said 'Yes,'" he said. "And they don't want any money, they don't want anything. They're great guys. They've done a great job. They've cleaned up all of my mess, and I don't have to do as much."
"This old fart doesn't have to hurt his back," Bond added with a laugh.
Some homeowners in that same neighborhood have decided to been level their houses and find something new while others are choosing to rebuild their homes.
Maureen Andraschko has only lived in Malden for two years, but after an assessor said her home was rebuild-able she and her son decided to use plywood and tarps to seal up the broken windows, and holes in the roof.
"I was always raised, you get bucked off, you get right back on that horse and ride it," Andraschko said. "I have talked to a couple of people and they said 'No we are going to move. To me, it's my home. My son said anything can be fixed, and I just said well that is the way we are going to do it."
Andraschko said interacting with volunteers with the Red Cross, her church bible study group, and her family has significantly helped her mood. There is a scripture that says you keep pressing on, and I just felt that uplifting spirit."