The Austin, Texas, police department witnessed close up how poorly our country takes care of our veterans.
It started with a simple theft and ballooned into something magnificent.
World War II veteran Louis C. Hicks is 92 years old and lives alone in Austin.
He called the local police department one day to report that there were tools missing from his shed.
He assumed the officers would look for the person responsible and that would be the end of the story.
Officer Chasity Salazar was the first one to respond to Mr. Hicks’ call.
She investigated the theft and then surprised Mr. Hicks by asking to enter his home.
He allowed her in, and Officer Salazar did a quick safety check of his surroundings.
Salazar left and Hicks went about his normal business.
Unbeknownst to him, Officer Salazar was working behind the scenes to fix a major problem she had seen in this war veteran’s home.
An old heater he had been using to heat the home had burnt a hole into the floor.
Since he had no other way to get heat and did not feel safe using that heater anymore, he was heating his home by leaving the gas stove on.
Officer Salazar knew this was a health and safety hazard and wanted to help.
The Austin Police Association, St. David’s Foundation, and Austin Cops 4 Charities worked together to secure a heater for Mr. Hicks for free.
Officer Salazar stated that she wanted to give back to this man who had devoted years of his life to serving his country.
She was happy to be able to do something for him that was truly helpful.
Officer Salazar, along with Officer Bino Cadenas, showed up on Mr. Hicks’ doorstep with the heater.
The veteran was taken by surprise and bowled over with gratitude that strangers could care so much about him.
For years, he had made do on the little income he had.
He praised God for the kindness and generosity of these strangers.
When the story came out of the veteran and his heater, the community rallied and generosity poured out.
Now Mr. Hicks has an ongoing wants and needs list and various members of the community will give him these items as they are able.
It started with something terrible and it has turned into a miracle: the love and generosity of a community who wants to give back to one of their own.