Oso search brings back memories for Mount St. Helens families

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by DREW MIKKELSEN / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @Drewmikk

KING5.com

Posted on March 31, 2014 at 5:21 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 31 at 7:01 PM

ABERDEEN, Wash. - The pictures of searchers in Oso take Steve Gadwa back nearly 34 years.

"My brother and I spent a week down at St. Helens tromping around in that kind of stuff," said Gadwa.

Gadwa's older brother Tom was logging near Mount St. Helens when it erupted May 18, 1980.
No one in the family worried anything would happen to Tom.

"They were in the safe zone," said Steve Gadwa.

Tom Gadwa's brothers spent the days following the eruption searching on the ground and in a National Guard helicopter.

The only item of Gadwa's ever found was a piece of his pick-up.

Steve Gadwa never had the closure he and his brother went up to the blast zone looking for.

"We knew he had perished. We were just trying to find something to bring home to Mom and Dad," said Gadwa.

He hopes all of the victims in Oso can be located.

"There should be something to bring home, to bury, to honor," said Gadwa, "But there's nothing."

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