It’s rare to hear about someone who is willing to give thousands of dollars to a total stranger – but that is essentially what Guido Filippone insists on doing for a fellow American hero he just met.
Filippone, a US Marine who served between 2004 and 2008, was attending an appointment at a Veterans Administration Hospital near his home in Pflugerville, Texas when he saw an elderly man walking across the hot parking lot all by himself.
“I immediately approached him, shook his hand and thanked him for service and asked if anyone was coming to pick him up or if he had a ride,” says Filippone.
When the veteran said that he was parked on the other side of the lot – and there was no one around with a golf cart to escort him across – he was content to just use his walker.
“Now, the heat here in Texas is enough to make anyone feel it and today was no different,” says the Marine. “I didn’t feel concerned because we know how tough our WW2 veterans are, but you never know. So, I asked if I could at least walk with him towards his car… and so we did.”
As they walked, the senior said he was a WWII veteran named Mike Gazella who had been stationed in Germany when the war ended.
Gazella then went on to say that he was at the VA because he had $4,000 worth of medical bills that needed to be paid for recent operations.
“Medicare covered most of it, but the remnants was up to the VA, and we all know how long that takes,” says Filippone. “As time went on, his medical bills keep coming and he’s trying to work through the red tape.”
“If I had a checkbook, I would have given the money to him right there. I wouldn’t want a World War II vet to move on to the next phase of life in debt,” Filippone told Fox News.
While he did offer to help the veteran while they were in the parking lot, Gazella humbly declined. Filippone, on the other hand, was determined to help, anyway.
He created a GoFundMe page with the intention of raising at least $4,000 in seven days – and he donated the first $1,000. Within 48 hours of creating the page, he has already raised over $13,000.
Filippone says that he is now working on tracking down Gazella so he can hand him the check.
“I could have easily just walked away and moved on. It’s nice to give back when you can,” Filippone told Fox. “I always say we already have the Greatest Generation—we should be the better generation. Never miss a chance to thank a veteran.”
Remember To Share The Good News With Your Friends – Photo by Guido Filippone