WWII veteran and his wife don’t know what’s next after Ian floods their home

Reporter: Emma Heaton Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:

A 98-year-old World War II combat veteran and his wife survived Hurricane Ian after riding the storm out in their North Fort Myers home.

The couple was in bed as flood waters filled their home.

Veteran Harry Long flew a B-26 Marauder during World War II, and his wife Marvis was a real-life Rosie the Riveter.

Marvis and Harry Long. (Credit: WINK News)

Now, they’ve got a long road to recovery. Ian took their home and a lot of their memories,
but their love will always be there, and even with the loss, they’ve found light.

“Things are serious. This is really bad,” said Harry.

An American flag still hangs on the mailbox of Long’s home, where he has lived with his wife for 30 years. “I didn’t cry, but…”

“It’s done a big number on him, I can tell,” said Marvis.

Hurricane Ian devastated the Long’s North Fort Myers neighborhood. Waist-deep water filled their hallways, covered floors, and destroyed memories. All while Harry and Marvis lay down in their bed and consoled each other.

Many of their memories now sit at the curb, waiting to be taken away after being destroyed.

“A lot of stuff in there. Like some of my downs and things, you know, you can’t buy stuff like that anymore unless you pay a fortune for it,” said Marvis.

“Personally, I have mixed emotions. It’d be nice to stay here. But really they say the house won’t really be livable for about a year. So why not start a new time in your life and maybe go to a condo or something like that,” Harry said.

Harry and Marvis don’t know where they’ll go next, but their love for our country stands strong.

Harry got to go on the Honor Flight in 2019, where he took a one-day trip to Washington DC to visit memorials specifically made for veterans like him.

Honor Flight volunteers have been there day after day to help the Longs recover.

Harry’s birthday was on Saturday, and Collier-Lee Honor Flight posted a birthday card request for Harry on Facebook. If you’d like to send harry a card for his 98th birthday, click here for more information.

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