The wife of a U.S. Marine who died when a tornado struck their Arkansas home last week tearfully remembered her husband as her "hero" on Monday as she continued to recover from her own injuries suffered in the storm.
Roxanne Withem was with her husband, Charles Edward Withem, and their three children when an EF2 tornado with winds between 111 and 135 miles per hour tore through their home in Ashdown, Arkansas, on Oct. 14, claiming his life.
"He was my hero,'' Withem said on TODAY Monday from her hospital bed. "He was my kids' hero right along with the country."
Roxanne suffered injuries to her back, neck and lung in the tornado, while the couple's three children, ranging in age from 6 to 16, suffered cuts and bruises.
"We woke up to the roof being torn off, and I start flying, my husband starts flying,'' she said. "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."
The family was not able to retrieve much from the rubble of their home, but did find a scrapbook as well as some mementos and medals from Withem's time in the military, which included eight years of service in Iraq.
"We have ups, we have downs, but we had each other, and the one thing we never lacked in this family was love,'' Roxanne said. "I don't how I'm even going to do it every day without him."
The Withems have set up on online donation page in the wake of their tragic loss for those who wish to help the family.