Army Wife's Surprise For Deployed Husband Ruined


POSTED: Wednesday, July 13, 2011 - 5:44pm

UPDATED: Thursday, July 14, 2011 - 10:34pm

EL PASO - A West El Paso army wife paid thousands of dollars to re-landscape her backyard and surprise her husband who's coming home from overseas. The problem is, the landscapers took her money and never finished the job.

"I've been crying for days because now it's too late. He's coming home on Saturday and what do I tell him," Atoyia holt asked.

Holt's husband hasn't been home for seven months, he's deployed in Qatar. That's why she wanted to surprise him with a re-landscaped backyard

"The last thing I want him to do is come home and spend his time that he's home with his family working on a yard. So, it was important for me to get it done so when he came home he could just relax. He could sit in his Jacuzzi, his hot tub and just be home instead of worrying about doing yard work in 104 degrees,"

Holt paid three thousand, three hundred dollars to a landscape company to have the job finished two weeks ago.
Now there's no new grass, an incomplete flower bed, the trees aren't trimmed and a pile of top soil sitting in the front yard.

"They started two days later than they were supposed to and they never finished the job. They never came back. They came back to get their tools and they won't return my phone calls so I'm stuck,"

We called the owner of the landscaping company. He took full responsibility for the work not being done. He said he had a family crisis.

"I'm sorry for his loss, but what about mine," holt asked.

The owner of the company told us it was very, very unprofessional that he didn't call her back. He apologized, and he told us he would refund all of Mrs. Holt's money or finish the job if he's allowed to. Although, at this point it looks like a surprise for a well deserving soldier won't happen in time.

"He's got to go back. This is only a short time he has with his family, and here we are now working on this. It's hurtful and it's frustrating for me because I just wanted something beautiful for him to come home to," Holt said.

Tomorrow morning, a group of Fort Bliss Soldiers will volunteer their time to help her clean up the yard. In exchange for their service, we're told, Fort Bliss will give them credit for physical training.

Of course, we'll be sure to let you know if the job gets done by the contractor or if the money is returned.

Comments News Comments

That is why you never pay all the money until the job is complete.

I'm sorry to hear that so many of our soldiers and their families get duped by these 3rd rate wannabe business owners. To anyone thinking of contracting someone to do a job, do your homework, make certain you check with the BBB, ensure they're licensed, get references, etc. It'll save you money, time, and heartache in the end. What's the name of the company that duped the young lady? I hope everything works out in the end. God Bless our Service Men and Women!

I just watched the video, Gabe's Landscaping...unprofessional of him not to call and explain his situation, not return your calls, etc. If you ask me he's just making stuff up. Incidentally, your husband will come home to something beautiful, his family is what he wants to see, that backyard won't phase him, believe me, I know...been there, done that.

The soldiers that have volunteer thier services should be recognizes for thier effort by the community not for physical training. In my opinion the Landscaper should have his license revoke. The City should have a ordinance against such incidents. Media has broadcasted a few times a year the same kind of stories that a contractor did this or a business did that. Since the name of the business is owners it should penalize the owner with a fine for each incident.

why dont you live somewhere else then sevilla. if this happened to any other family in el paso no one woul care but just cuz its military it makes the news. Plus qatar is a breez, that dude is out there having his 2 beer limit every night and getting a full body massage.

i personally think that anyone that has either heard or read this story should lend a helping hand...i mean her husbands overseas protecting us and he cant be with his family like the rest of us can..i personally will be there helping this family out...lets give something back

Credit for a deal

The company name is seen on the ladies reciept at 0:57 of the video.
Gabriel Landscaping 1325 Miamo Rd Canutillo Tx 79835.

I'm from Las Cruces and hired the same guy and the same thing happened to me, just not as severe. I paid $1800 dollars to re-do my backyard and never received my trees or decorative brick around some bushes. I tried and tried to get a hold of Gabe and when I finally did he told me he would pay me back the three hundred dollars or so of unfinished work. That was about a month ago and still no money or trees or brick. I also still have my contract. Gabes landscaping advertises on craigslist also.

So why didn't you report the name of the landscaping company???? As a military family, actually even if we weren't military, we would like to know the name of the company so we could avoid them.

Typical of El Paso.

It can happen anywhere and it does...unfortunately. Walk out from under your cloud and open your eyes.

Post new Comment