Ed Ketterer’s worn eyes surveyed the devastation that had once been his thriving business.
The mud splattered across the words on a lonely sign at the edge of his property that read, “Ketterer’s Landscaping and Nursery.” Surrounded by upended trees, the heaps of mud sunk the sign lower into the ground.
Ed’s livelihood of 50 years had been swept away in two days.
“It’s hard to put a handle on how you really feel,” Ed said.
Ed has no insurance. He cannot receive funds from FEMA, cannot rebuild and cannot afford to pay his way out of the situation but he found that help can come from unexpected places.
After a call last week from Dick Reznik, a member of Ed’s church, CSU’s Air Force ROTC cadets in Detachment 90 sprang into action.
Led by Cadet Kyle Kroncke, a total of 21 cadets drove themselves down to Ed’s house in Loveland last Friday to work all day and into the night to repair some of the damage done to the property.
A frenzy of work could be seen as cadets shoveled and wheelbarrowed mud off of Ed’s property, and worked to take some of the burden off of Ed’s tired shoulders.
“I’ve never seen an actual flood in person. I’ve never seen anything like this before,” Kroncke said.
Kroncke and Ed maintain that by taking it one step at at a time, they can fix some of the damage.
“We’re making real good progress,” Ed said hopefully.
Though nothing can replace everything that Ed has worked to build, the cadets of ROTC did their best to make things a little easier for him.
The man behind the phone call that led them there commented on the heroicness that the ROTC men and women demonstrated that day.
“The spirit and toughness that the cadets demonstrated just absolutely blew me away,” Reznik said. “They are the real heroes.”
Collegian Beat Reporter Caitlin Curley can be reached at email@example.com.