Elbert Wood, 93, of Houston, TX, is a USMC World War II veteran. He came home from a medical appointment on January 21st.
His home had been vandalized. Two juvenile “little darlings” had broken in. They’d spray-painted many of the walls, furnishings, carpets, and appliances.
Wood served in the Pacific in World War II. He was wounded in action twice. He also recently lost his wife – 19 days before the incident, to be precise. Let’s just say he deserved better than this.
Just another case of big-city vandalism and taking advantage of the elderly, eh? Perhaps. But here’s where the story takes a good turn.
Seems as if word of what happened to Mr. Wood got around. Independently, many pitched in to help.
Like MAJ Roberto Rodriguez, A/1/23d Marines – and his troops. They went to the man’s home to help.
On arrival, they were joined by a group of contractors laid-on by a local radio station. So instead of doing clean-up work, the Marines instead cleared the entire house so the contractors could do a better job while doing the rehab.
GruntLife – a vets organization – also got wind of the incident. They started a fundraiser to send Wood and his children on a trip to DC to visit the World War II memorial and the National Museum of the Marine Corps. The fundraiser achieved its initial target of $5,000 within 72 hours.
The revised plan is to send Woods’ children to accompany him to DC in April as well. They’re well on the way to making that happen.
No, this won’t make the incident “go away”. It happened; nothing can change history. But it does help mitigate the damage done to Mr. Wood – both that done to his property and his dignity.
And it also shows that, while there are indeed many jerks among us, there are also those who still give a damn.