Soldier returns home to find it ransacked

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – It wasn’t the homecoming an 11-year Army Staff Sergeant thought he would get when he returned to Virginia Beach.

“There are not words to describe how I feel,” said Eulalio Mestre.

Mestre was so excited to get back to the place he called home. He and his family left three years ago when he was transferred to Ft. Lewis near Seattle.

Mestre drove 40 hours in his RV from Washington to Virginia Beach. He arrived at his house on Banyan Drive around 9:30 Wednesday night. He says he took the RV over to Ft. Story and when he came back the next morning his house was ransacked.

“Every room and every crevice of the house they did something to it,” Mestre added. “I don’t know who it was? I don’t know why they would do that?”

Whoever did it threw trash everywhere. Doors were kicked in half. Kitchen cabinets torn off the hinges. Bathroom sinks were split in half. Toilets left cracked. The damage is overwhelming.

“My thought is that I don’t know where I’m going to put my family,” Mestre said. “If they are coming from Seattle where are we going to sleep?”

Mestre spent 11 years in the Army. His wife another five. In just a couple weeks his wife and their four children are supposed to move to Virginia Beach too.

“That’s a good Thanksgiving gift for my family,” Mestre said. “Hey, welcome home to this.”

The thieves also stole personal military mementos that can’t be replaced. It appears they broke in through a back window. Police are looking for any clues.

For now, Mestre is spending his days cleaning and trying to turn his world right side up.

“I’ve been to very bad places in the world and I’ve never felt this bad in my life,” Mestre added.

Mestre’s insurance agency told him the damage might not be covered, because he hasn’t lived in the home 30 consecutive days. In the meantime, the family set up a donation page for anyone who wants to help.

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