Cop Checks On Lonely Veteran, Sees What Happened To His Hair And Calls For Help Immediately
FaithTap Staff 3/11/2017
As if their actual job of being police officers isn't awe-inspiring enough, we still hear about police men and women who choose to go above and beyond in caring for those who live in their community. This unbelievable story is of one such inspiring cop, who gave a whole new meaning to caring for our veterans!
Screenshot via Inside Edition
Sgt. Jon Sterling of the Erlanger Police Department in Kentucky has been a cop for over 20 years. A few years ago, he noticed that he kept running into the same man while patrolling his part of the city. After frequent conversations between the two, Jon found out his name was Norm and that he was an almost 80-year-old war veteran who lived on his own. Jon recalls:
"Whenever I would see him, we would just stop and talk. He's a very smart person. He has a very interesting view on history and politics. I just loved talking to him. ... He's got a way about him that I really liked because I'm a little eccentric myself. So that's kind of one of the ways we bonded."
Fast forward four years and while out on duty in the same area, Jon noticed social workers at Norm's home. Being curious and concerned, Jon decided to stop by to make sure everything was okay with his friend who was now 83-years-old.
He remembers the shock when he saw Norm after what had been some time:
"He had lost a bunch of weight. It had been so long since I had seen him. His hair was as long as his beard. He really looked like he wasn't taking care of himself. He literally had gotten smaller."
Facebook/Jon Frickin Sterling
The social workers informed him that Norm had early on-set dementia and that he probably shouldn't be living alone. Having no close family or friends, Jon did the only thing he knew how.
After a conversation with his wife (who is a nurse) and his son, Jon decided that he would take temporary guardianship of Norm. The first step included getting Norm to a hospital for preliminary care which instantly made a difference:
"The short time he was in the hospital, he got his balance back; he got his color back. He got the fullness in his face. It really helped."
The next step for Jon was to find a permanent home for Norm where he would be well looked after. A retirement home would have been an ideal place but Norm's veteran benefits and bank balance weren't sufficient enough for such a placement.
Jon used the power of social media and opened a Go Fund Me page without very big expectations. This is what Jon shared on the page:
"I've applied for veteran benefits for Norm and looked for a suitable placement for him. The good news is that between his Social Security benefits and new veteran benefits he can receive the care he needs. The bad news is that it will cost $5500 to get him in the door. Norm has no family to take care of him and I am determined to get him the help he needs. I took Norm to see the facility and he is eager to move in. If you can help it would be greatly appreciated."
Thanks to the kind hearts of strangers, Jon managed to surpass the original goal of $5,500 within a day and eventually raised over $10,000.
Jon admits that the change for Norm wasn't easy, given that he had lived in the same place for over 18 years. But over time Norm has been doing so much better in the retirement home where Jon still visits him frequently.
This video shows Jon and Norm no longer just as acquaintances!
Jon, who despite having a family of his own and a job that is by no means easy, chose to do whatever it took to help an ailing vet! Proving once again that angels come in many forms, we are all very thankful for his selfless act!
Sources: Inside Edition FB Image Source: Inside Edition