Officer Jordan Gaiche was patrolling the neighborhood on a chilly Monday night when he saw a man walking down the sidewalk in a tee-shirt and shorts.
Since the temperature was only 7º Fahrenheit, Gaiche pulled his cruiser over and asked the man if he needed any help. To his surprise, the man said that he was on his way to help a senior neighbor who had gotten stuck in his chair, “as he had done many times before.”
The man asked if Gaiche could help them, and the Wausau, Wisconsin police officer readily agreed.
“The elderly gentleman had gotten stuck in his recliner and appeared to be immobile and on oxygen,” says Gaiche. “It was evident that this chair was the place this man spent most of his time.”
After he and the neighbor fixed the senior’s chair, Gaiche lamented the debilitated state of the recliner.
“It had become more of a trap for injury rather than an assistive device,” wrote the police officer. “The neighbor looked up at the man’s wife and said: ‘I think it’s time you guys got a new chair.’ The wife sadly replied that she knew they needed a new chair, but could not afford one, as they [cost] around $2,000.”
Upon finding out that the elderly man was also a Navy veteran who had served two tours in Vietnam, Gaiche was spurred to help. He told the vet’s wife to pick out a new armchair and he would cover the bill.
Once she picked out a new recliner model, Gaiche made a quick post on Facebook to see if anyone would help him buy the chair. To his surprise, he received dozens of donations from folks all over the country.
“Some of the people who donated, I have not seen for a decade… some I have never even met,” says Gaiche.
“The amount of compassion that was displayed for this elderly veteran was so incredible,” he added. “The moral of this story is to look around you and see all of the great things that people are doing. This world is a good place. Turn off the negativity and focus on making the world just a little bit better.”
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Reprint (Photo by Wausau Police Department)