The term “scorched earth” is usually one we associate with a military policy that targets anything that may be useful to the enemy. As a resident of Southern California, more specifically, Anaheim Hills, the term has recently taken on a different meaning. Earlier this week, my wife and I were given 30 minutes to evacuate our home of 12 years. To make matters more complicated, I was en route to the airport when I received the text from my wife asking, “What do you want me to pack in the car? I have to leave in minutes.”

My mind raced trying to determine what was important and irreplaceable. All I could think of was family photos and the flag that draped my dad’s coffin at Arlington National Cemetery. In the midst of the chaos and disbelief, our friends and neighbors rallied to assist us in our time of need. The next day, I found myself sitting in another airport trying to process everything that had happened in the past 24 hours. READ MORE