Home burglarized while vet, fiancee welcome baby
December 10th, 2010
02:04 PM ET

Home burglarized while vet, fiancee welcome baby

An Iraq war veteran and his fiancee are receiving an outpouring of support after their home was burglarized while the woman was giving birth, CNN affiliate WBNS reports.

While Tonya Verduga was giving birth at a Columbus, Ohio, hospital with military veteran Tom Sheehan at her side, thieves were ransacking their house and making off with TVs, a laptop, jewelry and Christmas presents for the baby and for Verduga's two sons from a previous marriage, the station reported.

"From the ultimate high to just wanting to scream," said Sheehan, who returned from his most recent tour in Iraq in August. "(I'm) just so angry and upset."

But their community is making things right. Members of the Liberty Township Fire Department are adopting the family, and two VFW posts are collecting gifts and donations, WBNS reported.

Philanthropist Mae McCorkle wrote the couple a check for $5,000.

"It's an overwhelming feeling, knowing that you can get care like that from a complete stranger. ... It makes your heart melt knowing that there's people who would do that for you," Sheehan told the station.

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Filed under: Crime • Ohio • U.S.
soundoff (115 Responses)
  1. Geri

    I am not here on earth to judge others (a baby without being married). I hope this "family" makes a go of it and stays together. Glad to know people are willing to help others (in their time of need); true Christmas spirit!

    December 10, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • deskjob4me

      Do you not realize that your statement (and qualifier) was, in fact, a judgement?

      December 10, 2010 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  2. SEAMN

    Why do people invoke in this heartwarming story the bible> these idiots have nothing better to do but sit at home since their spouses probably filed for a divorce or up and moved and I dont blame them. To say they deserved this and she is something b.c she was once married is ludacris. If you go that far than I say you have to call Mary of the bible commited adultery she had achild out of wedlock and not her husband...sounds stupid huh yup just as stupid as these idiots on here.

    December 10, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Cindy Duff

    My daughter and her fiance were at Baptist Hospital in Louisville, KY on November 10th having their first child while their home was being ransacked and robbed. Besides taking all the valuables the thieves destroyed the place. Threw beds, crib, clothes, toys and everything all over the place. Punched holes in the walls, pulled the drawers out and threw them, and even ate their food. It took the police 2 1/2 hours to get there and no help came from anywhere. The TV news crews did a story on it, but still no help came from anywhere. And my daughter is a Veteran! It's shameful that there are mean people out there. I just wish someone would have responded to help this couple out also.

    December 10, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • zima

      That is horrible... I am so sorry that has happened to your family...

      December 10, 2010 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  4. zima

    " ... making off with TVs, a laptop, jewelry and Christmas presents for the baby and Verduga's two sons from a previous marriage..."
    I am missing something, what happened to two son's from previous marriage...?

    But the story is heartworming!

    December 10, 2010 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • guest

      they were trying to say that they took presents that were for the baby and the 2 boys of a previous marriage. bad wording, but i understood what they were saying.

      December 10, 2010 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Isabella

    What a great story about giving. Something similar happened here this week when a family who was attending their son's funeral had their house broken into. I believe the community is also rallying around this family.

    December 10, 2010 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jane

    Nothing lower than a theif.

    December 10, 2010 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jewel

    wait? What happened to the two sons?

    December 10, 2010 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  8. justmeanddog

    Absolutely great story. Hope they have a wonderful Christmas and enjoy their new baby. And a very very Merry Christmas to every one who is helping them. My guess is that they too will also have a wonderful Christmas and get a bigger "rush" from helping than they would ever get from receiving gifts. We all need this kind of "emotional jump start" every now and then and it always carries a bigger "bang" around this time of the year. Ya just got to love it.

    December 10, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Barbara

    I wonder if they posted anything on Facebook about leaving for the hospital "baby on the way". I know this sounds crazy, but there was another article about someone who's house was robbed by one of her own "not so close" FB friends, when she posted that she and the hubby would be gone all night. Worth looking into.

    December 10, 2010 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Trish

      Before I saw your comment I said I bet they posted it on Twitter or Facebook and the crook was on their friends list, or someone on their friends list told someone.

      December 10, 2010 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Shay

    you knowwhats to say her ex wasn't abusive or maybe he did something to the kids so does the bible say you need to stay in a place where you are being hurt or abused ? so what i guess because the bible says you can't divorce you need to stay in an abusive or bad place or is it different, so to the idiot that said what he did in here whats the bible say then, so i guess i'm a sinner because my ex husband tried to kill me and i guess i was suppose to stay with him cause the bible says so. well good thing i didn't cause he told the police he was going to kill me if i hadn't gotten away. gee who do i thank for that one ?

    December 10, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  11. dan

    Wow, a feel good story bringing out all this judgement, hate, disapproval and a few kind words. Read the post from the beginning to now. You can see how the hate grows. The comments start off so nice and heartwarming and then the unhappy miserable people start in...

    December 10, 2010 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Teri

    Tours in Iraq are over a year long. Dad gets back in August. Baby born in December. Do the math. But, when she and this guy get married, all 3 of those kids will have military insurance, perks and benefits. So, it's all good. There is so much scamming going on the military, it's unreal. So, single moms – if you need health insurance benefits for your kids and a housing allowance so you can have a free place to live, just hit one of the bars near a military post and pick you out a guy. That way the government will take care of you and pay for all of it.

    December 10, 2010 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • armywife68

      They do get to take leave during their tour if they want. It is usually for 2 weeks

      December 10, 2010 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Trish

      It is called R&R, jackhole.

      December 10, 2010 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dorothy

      My brother had two 6 month tours in Iraq separated by almost a year stateside. Not all tours are 12+ months.

      December 10, 2010 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  13. armywife68

    Why is this story even news? Peoples homes get burglarized everyday. I should know. Three weeks after my husband returned from Iraq our rental home we had been in for just a few days was burglarized. We had just moved from Ne. to Tx for a military job. The property loss value was thousands of dollars but the feeling of my privacy being invaded was much greater. The criminals had the nerve to go thru his military bags. WHERE was our handouts? Thats why people should have renters or homeowners insurance.

    December 10, 2010 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • armymother

      I'm sorry you were cruelly victimized at your new duty station. I hope you had the help from the army network of families, but it sounds like you did not. Please do not let your unfortunate situation cloud your understanding of this soldier's ordeal. They may very well have some type of renter's insurance, but the main focus here is the outpouring of love and generosity from strangers. This invokes the true meaning of the Christmas. God Bless you and yours, armywife68. Please accept our heartfelt thanks for the sacrifices your family and especially your husband has endured for us. All of you will forever be in our thoughts and prayers.

      December 12, 2010 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Don in Nevada

    Most crimes aren't random. My dad's neighbor had this happen to them and it turned out to be a relative and his buddies who did it.

    December 10, 2010 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jon

    Ya its irritating to be robbed, but the things stolen were just luxuries...not really necessary. That $5000 could have been put to better use lets say to feed and shelter the poor.

    December 10, 2010 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nicole

      The family has said in another article that they're going to give all the extra donations that they don't need to other families in need this holiday season.

      December 12, 2010 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
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