SANTEE, Calif. — The newlywed couple who lost their home in the deadly Santee plane crash returned to the damage left behind, but found a glimmer of hope in the wreckage.
Cody and Courtney Campbell have been sifting through the wreckage of what’s left of their home. Boxes packed up with anything they could salvage, the Campbells didn’t know what they would find sifting through the rubble.
“Hard,” Courtney Campbell said. “Our family helped us with a lot of it. Hard. I think for the most part they took the reins and we were just kind of there.”
Cody Campbell expressed that “emotions are every which way.”
“Every direction,” he said. “It’s kind of tough to describe.”
The Campbells got married last December. Although the home they recently moved into five months ago is now destroyed, a symbol of their love survived in the ashes.
“There’s no words to describe why one thing is burned versus something else that makes it out OK,” Courtney said. “There are a couple of items that mean so much to us. To have them is something that we’ll cherish forever.”
The couple found Cody’s wedding ring, a photo and the letter he wrote to Courtney on their wedding day.
“I can’t even explain the destruction that came over us when we found the ring, and then shortly after, I think we found the letter, but it was incredible,” Cody said.
For the Campbells, the plane crash may have destroyed their home, but only strengthened their marriage.
“This will hopefully be the hardest thing we have to do in our lives,” Cody said. “But at the end of it, we’re going to come out of this incredibly strong to the point where your everyday hiccups and your bumps in the road are going to look like nothing to this.”
Cody said he wears his rubber wedding ring every day to protect his real ring at home. Currently, that ring is getting restored.
The couple hopes they can come back to the same neighborhood.
A GoFundMe campaign has been established to help the young couple rebuild their lives. Here’s how to donate.