Marsha Wallis got the dreadful news that a bed bug was found by her husband’s home health nurse while changing the bed sheets.
Willis said her first thought was, “Oh my God. Lord, what are we going to do now?”
Her husband, Storm Wallis, served in the United States Navy in 1966-67. Storm was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in February.
“Since he was a veteran, we go to the VA for his health care and hospitalization and everything,” she said.
Marsha said the Veterans Affairs has helped them in the past by providing a wheelchair, walker, hospital bed and a home health nurse.
“They gave us one week to have it taken care of,” she said. “Who’s got money like that? Nobody I know.”
Marsha said they had one week to get rid of the bed bugs or the VA would discontinue their home health service.
“I can’t take care of Storm by myself,” she said. “The thought of losing home health was pretty frightening because I want my husband to be taken care of the best possible way.”
Marsha said the home health nurse told her to ask for help on Facebook.
Phil Tubbs, owner of Tornado Alley Pest Control, saw Marsha’s request for help and offered their services at no charge.
“He’s a veteran,” Tubbs said. “He shouldn’t have to worry about bed bugs.”
Tubbs shared a post on his Facebook account for his business to see if people would be willing to help cover the costs of the service.
Within an hour over 25 people had reached out with the desire to help.
“We had no idea the outpour of help from the community,” he said. “God put us in the right place at the right time.”
Tubbs said enough money was raised to help another veteran who’s been struggling with a cockroach issue.
“I feel like God has given me a gift to do this and I feel like this is how he wants to use me,” he said. “I’ve got to do what He tells me.”
Marsha said she is so thankful.
“We were very grateful,” she said. “We knew that God would provide a way because He’s never left us hanging. Ever.”
Marsha said other people responded asking if they can help in other ways, such as cleaning and laundry.
“That’s a blessing,” she said. “That’s a real blessing because I’m not 35 anymore.”
Tubbs and his wife Tavia opened Tornado Alley Pest Control in April 2021. They are in the process of obtaining their 501c3 and creating the nonprofit program Tornado Alley Pest Patriots.
Phil said the program is designed to help veterans and people who can’t afford pest control.
“People are people,” he said. “They shouldn’t have to live like that.”
Phil said 10 percent of every service done will go toward the nonprofit program.
There will also be an online store for people to buy shirts and hats or donate money.
“Everything that we would make for it would go towards buying product for treating veterans homes in need,” he said.
Phil said he grew up in a family that didn’t have a lot of money. He said his parents would have to save money in order to call an exterminator.
“I’ve lived there and know how it is,” he said.
Phil said bed bugs and cockroaches can easily get out of hand.
“People think it’s a luxury in having pest control, and a lot of times its a necessity,” he said.
Phil said he’s sprayed for bed bugs in multimillion dollar homes.
“Anybody can get bed bugs,” he said. “They’re a hitchhiker.”
Tavia said Phil has always wanted to go into full-time ministry, but at the same time, he loves pest control.
This allows him to do both.
Tavia said three people have reached out asking for help so far.
“Everybody knows someone that needs help,” she said.