They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but this one tells an entire story. A priceless memento recovered after a devastating storm honors the service and sacrifice of a veteran who lost nearly everything...

- Carol Gray

We have all seen the photos and videos of the destruction and loss of life left behind by the deadly tornadoes that moved across Western Kentucky on December 10, 2021. The tornadoes left behind catastrophic damage.

For those who survived, most lost everything.

With only minutes to prepare, in a matter of seconds, all was gone. Debris was lifted into the sky and thrown around by the tornadoes, landing miles, sometimes states away. Most of their photos and important keepsakes would likely never be seen again.

Facebook group forms to connect the lost that needed found.

Living in Philpot, Ky, we woke up the morning after to our eleven acres of land littered with debris. Pieces of insulation, siding, roofing, bricks, and stones could be seen from our window. We also found some old checks and an old picture clock face.

I joined the Facebook group Quad State Tornado Found Items in the hopes that we would find the owners of the clock face. Unfortunately, we haven't found the owner, yet.

That Facebook group is where I found this amazing story.

Veteran's flag was found

In the Facebook group post was a link to a story from WPSD Local 6 involving the recovery and return of a veteran's priceless family keepsake.

According to Local 6,

Gracyn DeClue had known Tim Lewis and his wife for years. She cleaned and managed his properties in Marshall County, KY. On the night of December 10th, she was home, but the Lewis' were in California.

The next day Gracyn saw that the log cabin, the Tim and his wifed lived in was almost leveled. All the Gracyn could thing about was the military burial flags of Tim and his wife's fathers. She knew how much the flags meant to them.

She and her family searched for the flags and found Tim's fathers's burial flag under some rubble. They were shocked they were able to recover it at all.

Once Tim and his wife arrived back to Kentucky, they were able to reunite Tim with his priceless and beloved flag.

Eventually, both flags were recovered. See the full report and a video of Tim telling the story of how Gracyn helped to preserve a symbol of Service and Sacrifice, HERE.

[Source: WPSD Local 6]

Just to put the fear and devastation into perspective of the Kentucky tornadoes, here is a first hand account and a thank you to those who are helping in the efforts to clean-up and rebuild. 

55 Heartbreaking Photos of Mayfield, KY Tornado's Aftermath

From homes and businesses being completely demolished to trees being uprooted and electrical poles being snapped in half like they were toothpicks, these photos paint a vivid picture of how destructive nature can be at its most violent.

KEEP READING: What to do after a tornado strikes

TIPS: Here's how you can prepare for power outages