Marine Widow Recovering after EF-2 Tornado

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ASHDOWN, AR – An Ashdown woman who lost her husband in a tornado last week is talking about the ordeal that also claimed her family’s home.

Roxanne Withem, the wife of Eddy Withem, 33, was also injured, as were the couple’s three children.

Eddy Withem, a former Marine who had served eight years in Iraq was at home with wife Roxanne and the kids when an EF-2 tornado hit.

Roxanne Withem is slowly on the mend. The physical damage to her back, neck, and lung, caused when a tornado made a direct hit on her home, is healing. But the nightmare of the twister that also killed her husband is only now beginning to sink in.

“We had ups and downs, but we had each other, and the one thing we never lacked in this family was love. I don’t know how I’m even going to do it every day without him,” she says. 

When the tornado struck with winds between 111 and 135 miles an hour, the couple was literally blown out of their house.

“We woke up to the roof being torn off and I started flying, my husband started flying and he grabbed me and pushed me under a bunch of stuff and he said ‘don’t move if you want to live.’ Just as he said that, I watched him fly away,” she recalls of the tragic moment.

The family wasn’t able to salvage much from the rubble where their home once stood, but they did retrieve a scrapbook – momentos from Eddy’s years in the service and, a priceless find – some of his Marine Corps medals.

“He was my hero. He was my kids’ hero, right along with the country,” she says.

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