Army combat veteran vows to help rebuild Sanford memorial destroyed by flood

Flooding in Sanford destroyed a monument built in honor of Marine Lance Cpl. Ryan Burgess, who...
Flooding in Sanford destroyed a monument built in honor of Marine Lance Cpl. Ryan Burgess, who died on duty in Iraq back in 2006. (WJRT)
Published: May. 26, 2020 at 5:45 PM EDT
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(05/26/2020) _"I'm retired from the Army and a combat veteran, so it was unnerving to say the least," said contractor, Tom Foley

The images that broke Terry Foley's heart, a memorial to honor veterans, shattered.

The aftermath of destruction in Sanford caused by flood waters.

"Went down to see what I could help with. I noticed immediately when I got to the west end of town, the memorial site was completely gone," he said.

The memorial, erected just two years ago is dedicated to 21 year old Ryan Burgess and others, who have served our country.

Burgess, a marine and Sanford native-- was killed in Iraq in 2006.

Foley visited the sight of where the monument once stood last Thursday along with Kim Burgess, Ryan's mom.

"So I didn't want her going alone. I would go with her because I can only imagine how devastating that would be for her," Foley said.

Foley, a contractor with Fisher Contracting, went to work right then and there-- to begin the process of rebuilding the memorial.

"There was Consumers employees there accessing the damage and I had two of those guys help me pull the flag,"

"Then me and one of the national guardmen carried out of the mud," he said

Foley said out of all that devastation, a sign of hope.

One that will carry him through the process of helping to restore the memorial.

"There was 6, 30 foot flag poles. The only flag pole that wasn't in the mud or gone was the flag pole holding the American flag and the POW MIA flag. Those flags were still not touching the ground," Foley said.