A 92-year-old World War II veteran called the police after his tools were stolen. When an officer arrived and entered his home, she made a troubling discovery she couldn’t ignore. After walking into the kitchen, the cop realized the elderly man had bigger problems than the thief.
Louis Hicks, a 92-year-old World War II veteran, was rightfully upset when he discovered a thief had stolen his tools from a shed behind his home in Austin, Texas. Hoping the cops could help, Mr. Hicks called 911. Officer Chasity Salazar was sent to the scene to complete a report, but the call would take a turn after she entered the residence.
When Officer Salazar stopped by Mr. Hicks’ house to complete the report, she became more concerned about what the elderly veteran was up to than she was about the thief who had rummaged through and burglarized the old man’s shed. A sight in the kitchen left the cop deeply troubled, and she knew she couldn’t ignore what she had seen.
In front of Mr. Hicks’ gas-powered range was a portable fan, and Officer Salazar immediately recognized that the veteran was using his stove and oven to warm up his chilly home. After turning on the kitchen appliance, the fan would blow the hot air into Mr. Hicks’ living room. Of course, this was a huge safety concern for the officer, who immediately knew she had to do something.
Salazar contacted her coworkers at the Austin Police Department and filled them in on the troubling sight she had found in the home. With the help of Austin Cops 4 Charities, Austin Police Association, and St. David’s Foundation, Officer Salazar was able to get the veteran a heater — free of cost. “That’s just what we do as police officers. I had realized that he’s using the oven. I know that’s not safe. His gas is on,” Officer Salazar said.
Along with fellow Officer Bino Cadenas, Officer Salazar delivered Hicks’ new heater. When the two cops arrived to install the free electric fireplace, the elderly veteran was taken aback. “I’ve never had no one to do nothing for me,” Hicks said with a shaking voice, trying to hold back tears. “After my mother passed away and left me to take care of my two sisters … nobody never did nothing to help me.”
Prior to using his gas range for heat, Hicks had been using an old heater. But, when it burned a hole in the floor, he stopped, turning to his stove and oven as a source of warmth instead. “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,” Hicks said.
Hicks isn’t the only one who benefited from the ordeal. Officer Salazar is grateful for the opportunity to serve a man who’s served his country. “He’s just offered me a lot of kindness, too, so to know that he’s also served, and now I’m able to serve and give back to people like him,” she said, according to KVUE.
Thanks to these two Austin police officers and several organizations, the elderly veteran will be able to sleep both warmly and safely, but their generosity didn’t end there. Proving they too are all about service to others, the Austin police created a wish list of Mr. Hicks’ other needs. The community was quick to step up, with someone even bringing him lunch, coffee, and some goodies from Tiff’s Treats, a bakery in Austin.
Austin Cops for Charities also revealed that they have about 10 heater units left to donate, encouraging those in need to visit AustinC4C.com. In addition, a GoFundMe was created for Louis Hicks, raising over $10,000 in just two weeks’ time. Of course, the humble veteran is grateful for everyone’s generosity.
“It means everything. The things I’ve been trying to do since the ’40s,” Hicks said, explaining that the help he had long hoped for “just came in.” The Austin officers proved to be more than just police. These angels in blue were the answer to this veteran’s prayers. We have to agree with Mr. Hicks, who declared, “God is good.” Indeed, God is good all the time.