An Iowa man had been frequenting a local Walmart and observed a rather odd vehicle that had been lurking in the parking lot every time he went shopping. Finally, he decided that he was going to check it out, and he was stunned when he looked inside.
Jake Holloway had been shopping at the Walmart and Target stores in Altoona over the course of a few weeks, and every time he went, he noticed the same silver Jeep Wrangler in their parking lots. One day, he spotted a sticker in the back window of the vehicle, and it compelled him to finally go take a closer look and have a talk with the driver.
When Jake realized everything that had been going on, it didn’t sit well with him at all. Apparently, the sticker in the vehicle’s window was an “I Served” in Iraq decal, so Jake decided he needed to check into this situation further.
“I don’t know this guy from Adam, and I don’t know his whole story,” Jake said. “There’s been a silver Jeep Wrangler in the Walmart and Target parking lot in Altoona for the last few weeks. It moves from time to time back and forth. I noticed an ‘I served’ Iraq sticker in the back window, and I finally got the nerve to stop.”
Jake ended up talking with the vehicle’s occupant, whose name is Nick, and he learned that he’s been going through some pretty tough times ever since leaving the military. Nick’s wife left him when he returned home from duty, and all that he had to his name was his Jeep and his loyal friend – a boxer dog.
Nick explained his heartbreaking story to Jake and said that he had been sleeping in his Jeep for some time. He was recently hired by the Department of Transportation, but he hadn’t received a paycheck yet. After hearing this, Jake decided he wanted to help the struggling veteran. It was the least he could do for a man who fought for our freedoms.
“Told him I liked his Jeep. He liked my Toyota,” Jake said. “And, I asked him if he was alright. He told me his name was Nick and after he had got back from overseas his wife left him and left him with his Jeep and his dog. He’s got no money and broke as a joke. Told me he just got a job at the DOT but hasn’t been paid yet. Said he had started selling things off the Jeep to have any money at all.”
“It broke my heart. If you wanna do something for someone out of pure selflessness, please…,” Jake said, imploring others to help. “If you see him. Out of the kindness of your heart. Do something nice for him or his best friend (the boxer dog). Few bucks. A gift. Some dog food. That’s my request. Makes me sick to see a soldier on the street.”
Apparently, it makes the good people of Altoona sick as well. After the story went viral, there was an outpouring of support for Nick and his dog, and dozens of people stopped by the Walmart to drop off everything from gift cards to money, and some people even brought Nick some food for his loyal friend. One extraordinarily kind person even paid in full for Nick and his dog to stay at a hotel for a week.
The outpouring of support for Nick, who spent time in the military and did tours overseas, has been tremendous. People seemed beyond eager to help the struggling veteran, and he apparently received everything he needed to get by until he got paid for his new job and saved up for an apartment.
Kudos to Jake Holloway for going out of his way and making a miracle happen for a veteran who was down on this luck. He could have easily gone on about his life and never done a thing, but instead, his generous nature ensured that Nick has a warm place to rest and that his best friend is taken care of.