Monday, July 23, 2007

Update from

I got this article from This is an update on the couple who got the free pickup!
Chance Little considers his rescue efforts the night of the Greensburg tornado just part of his job as a volunteer firefighter.

But his heroism captured the attention of the Country Music Association, which rewarded him with a trip to Nashville for its annual musical festival.

He had no idea country star Martina McBride would present him a new Chevrolet Silverado onstage.

He's grateful, but he wishes the CMA had given him a heads-up.

"Otherwise I wouldn't have bought this other truck the week before," he said, pointing to his new Dodge Ram pickup.

So now Chance and his wife, Tracy, have two trucks and no home. Like most Greensburg residents, they lost their house and most of their possessions in the tornado.

A segment on the Little family will be aired today during the "CMA Music Festival: Country's Night to Rock" along with festival performances by McBride, Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley and others. It will be broadcast from 8 to 10 p.m. on KAKE, Channel 10.

Chance, 27, was born and raised in Greensburg. He and his wife are building a new home, where they will reside with their 1-year-old daughter, Marley; their second child, who's on the way; and the family dog, Cooper.

As tornado reports came in May 4, Tracy and Marley hurried to Chance's parents' house across town to ride out the storm. Chance went to work helping to prepare for the storm.

After the tornado passed, he and other volunteer Kiowa County firefighters split up and searched houses. The wreckage was overwhelming, but Chance said he tried to do whatever was needed to ensure people were not harmed. He got a woman out of her basement and took disoriented residents to Dillons, where medical care was available.

"It all happened so fast," he said "I never had time to think about what had happened. We were busy trying to take care of people. I still don't think it's all hit me. I just keep pushing on."

A few days after the storm, Chance was at the firehouse when he got a phone message to call the Country Music Association.

"I thought some of my friends with the city were playing a trick on me," he said.

Chance still doesn't know how the CMA heard about him. The association asked the Littles to submit a tape of their story. The couple did, and they were invited to the music festival.

Nearly 200,000 people attended the June 7-10 event in Nashville.

Chance and Tracy were invited backstage during McBride's concert. McBride, a native of Sharon, dedicated the song "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" to them.

Tracy said she's a big country fan so it was exciting to hear McBride live and get to meet her.

After the song, the Littles were unexpectedly ushered onstage, where, in front of about 50,000 audience members, they were given the new pickup.

"It drives pretty well," Tracy Little said.

The family is living in a Federal Emergency Management Agency trailer until their house is built. The foundation is in place and framing will begin in the next week or two. The couple hopes to be in their new home before Christmas, Chance Little said.

"That would be real nice way to spend the holidays," he said.

Article by Jamie Shapiro, Eagle correspondent

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