Life
Police Help 92-Year-Old WWII Vet Get New Heater
These cops arrived and saw that they needed to assist the man with much more than just a theft.
Morgan Slimak
02.28.19

A few weeks ago, 92-year old WWII veteran Louis C. Hicks called the Austin police department to report some power tools missing from his shed. It turns out, a criminal had broken in and stolen them, and understandably, he wanted the tools back. Officer Chasity Salazar responded to the call.

Upon her arrival, Salazar entered the house to speak with Hicks and gather some more information. What she discovered inside was shocking.

The heater that the elderly man had been using to heat his central Austin home was so old it had literally burned a hole in the ground. As he couldn’t afford a new heater, his new technique was to use his gas-powered oven to heat the house.

The man had the oven going full blast, oven door open, with a fan set in front of it to circulate the air around. It was so dangerous!

Adrenne Soto Mendoza
Source:
Adrenne Soto Mendoza

While all Hicks wanted was for the police to catch the guy who stole his tools, Salazar knew she had to do something about the man’s heating situation as well.

She called upon her fellow officers and a few other organizations in the area to ask for assistance.

“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 told KVUE.

With the help of Austin Police Association, St. David’s Foundation, Austin Cops 4 Charities, and another member of her department, Officer Bino Cadenas, Salazar was able to deliver the elderly man a brand new heater, free of charge.

Hicks was blown away by the officers’ act of kindness.

“I’ve never had no one to do nothing for me. After my mother passed away and left me to take care of my two sisters … nobody never did nothing to help me. 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

It’s always incredible when the community is able to give back to our veterans who have done so much to help our country.

Monica Hughes
Source:
Monica Hughes

The generosity didn’t end there, however. The police soon discovered that there were still some other important things that Hicks needed, basic stuff like some medium sized underwear, 33 x 30 shirts, and new pants.

After Hick’s story got out, they decided to start a Go Fund Me page to help raise some more money.

“This story shed light on the fact that Louis could use a hand or two. Whether it’s groceries, help around the house, or monetary giving for bills, a little will go a long way for this big-hearted community pillar. While he would never dream of asking for help, we believe serving this wonderful man is the least that can be done as he constantly enriches the lives of everyone else around him,” the description on the Go Fund Me page reads.

Monica Hughes
Source:
Monica Hughes

The results have been absolutely amazing — better than anyone ever could have predicted.

Over 200 people reached out with donations and the page quickly exceeded its $10,000 goal.

It really is such a heartwarming story. In Hick’s time of need, everyone in the community pulled together to help him out.

“It means everything. The things I’ve been trying to do since the ’40s…I’ve been asking for help. And now, it just came in. God is good,” Hicks said.

Monica Hughes
Source:
Monica Hughes

The man no longer has to stress as much about finances, and can now live out the rest of his life in peace.

Check out the video below to see the full story from KVUE.

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By Morgan Slimak
hi@sbly.com
Morgan Slimak is a contributing writer at Shareably. He is based in Pennsylvania and can be reached at hi@shareably.net.
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