Despite putting their lives on the line for their country, there are far too many military veterans around the world who are living in less-than-ideal conditions.
Take, for example, a kindhearted 92-year-old man named Louis C. Hicks in Austin, Texas.
Hicks served in World War II over 70 years ago, but his selfless service wasn’t the only thing that drew the attention of some local officers in his Texas city.
How sweet is this?! @Austin_Police is delivering a free heater to a 92-year-old World War II veteran! An officer who responded to his house last week noticed he was heating it with his stove and oven. Thanks to these officers, he won’t need to do that anymore. 😊 @KVUE pic.twitter.com/rCvwclXuVW
— Pattrik Perez (@PattrikPerez) January 29, 2019
The officers had responded to a call at Hicks’s home regarding some property theft when they noticed that the older man was heating his house by turning on his stove and oven.
Hicks, who had called the police when he noticed someone was stealing tools from his backyard shed, had no working heat in his home. So he had turned on the cooking appliances to try to warm things up—which, as the officers pointed out, wasn’t exactly the safest way to do things.
“That’s just what we do as police officers,” Officer Chastity Salazar said. “I had realized that he’s using the oven. I know that’s not safe. His gas is on.”
Knowing that something needed to be done, Salazar reached out to her fellow officers—and the next time she showed up at his front door, she came bearing a gift!
The police department brought a free heater to Hicks’s home, which they brought inside and installed for him.
Salazar’s good deed didn’t go unnoticed, though, and others in the department showed up to take inventory. Fellow officer Bino Cadenas started to come by and visit Hicks more frequently, pulling together a list of things that the elderly man needed so they could get them together as a community and help out.
Hicks has certainly seen the best and the worst the world has to offer in the nine decades he’s been alive, but even he was moved to tears by how kind the officers have been to him.
Visited Mr. Hicks this afternoon. He’s extremely thankful to everyone who has reached out and has even found lost family members. “From the bottom of my heart ❤️ Thank You”
Big things are coming his way – home improvements, @HonorFlightATX, and community support. Wish list…1/2 pic.twitter.com/iDCGuRIAeG
— Bino Cadenas (@Bino_APD) January 31, 2019
“I’ve never had no one to do nothing for me,” an emotional Hicks said. “After my mother passed away and left me to take care of my two sisters—nobody never did nothing to help me.
“You hate to ask anybody ’cause sometimes they’ll frown on you, and I’m a true veteran. I won’t ask. I won’t ask.”
The officers insist that Hicks isn’t the only one benefiting from the visits; according to Salazar, the veteran has given back in the form of kindness and companionship to the officers as they get to know him.
For Hicks himself, though, the help he’s been getting is summed up in one simple word: “everything,” adding that, “God is good.”