BANQUETTE, Texas — A local family is getting by after their home was destroyed in a January fire.
Ironically, he was in the process of getting insurance and was just waiting for an appraiser after repairing his roof. That's when every homeowner's worst nightmare became his reality.
“I’ve got 32 years invested here,” said Roger Garcia. “To watch everything just fall apart makes it kind of hard on me.”
Everything seemed normal when Garcia and his son Roger Jr. returned home from a trip to Kingsville January 3.
That's when they noticed a stranger approaching their door.
“I didn't know him and my son didn't know him,” said Garcia. “I asked what he was doing and he said the house was on fire.”
“We had to sit there and watch our house burn and we couldn't do anything.,” said Roger Jr.
The house was a total loss. Garcia has barely been able to return since.
“I come over here and look at it and it makes me want to cry,” he said.
Today, there are plenty of reminders of that January night.
Garcia served six years in the U.S. Army, three on active duty and three in the reserves. He served with the XVIII Airborne Corps, and has more than 20 jumps to his credit. Those jumps have taken a physical toll on Garcia, who’s 100% disabled.
“I ended up with a metal plate in my neck and a metal plate (in his back),” said Garcia.
His injuries have left Garcia unable to help clear the rubble, so Roger Jr. has stepped up to help the family pick up the pieces.
“ I think it hurts him a lot more than he lets on because he would love to be out here working and helping us, but we also know that he can’t,” Roger Jr. said.
“If I was healthy, I'd go back to work and find something, somewhere to pick up the pieces and make a house out of it,” said Garcia.
A GoFundMe was set up for the family, but is well short of its goal. With no insurance and unable to work, Garcia isn't sure what he can do.
“I’ve worked so hard to get everything set up so me and my wife could grow old together out here,” said Garcia. “Now I've got to start all over again.”