Volunteers restoring military family's home (PHOTOS)

military home trashed volunteers

Volunteers Sam Nimmo and Miriama Devine assess necessary repairs in the Steele family’s kitchen.

BRIAN HUGHES / News Bulletin
Published: Friday, September 20, 2013 at 11:48 PM.

CRESTVIEW — Church members have pitched in to help refurbish a military family's home that renters trashed while they were on permanent change of station out of state.

See some of the damages they're repairing: photo gallery>>

Technical Sgt. Matt and Jessica Steele had planned to settle their family — including children James, 12, Kelcia, 9 and Aleah, 6 — in Crestview. Four years ago, thinking Eglin Air Force Base was Matt's last assignment after three tours in Iraq, they extensively renovated their Airport Road home.

Then Matt was unexpectedly reassigned to Germany. When his sister was diagnosed with cancer, the family changed stations again to Cheyenne, Wyo., to help care for her children while she receives treatment.

The Steeles rented out the home through a friend. When those renters left without notice, a family with three kids and several large dogs rented the home.

"They were always late on rent and trashed our home," Jessica said. "We had to kick them out."

A litany of destruction

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