When one Kansas police officer discovered a 90-year-old man was living in his car, he knew he had to get him to a shelter. But when he found out the man was actually a World War II veteran, he knew he had to do much more.
Earlier this month, Wichita Police Officer Robert Bachman discovered 90-year-old Charles Johnson living out of his broken down car in the 90-degree heat. “He was homeless, waiting for his car to get fixed – waiting for the end of the month to get his checks in to get his car fixed,” Bachman said. “He said, ‘I’m doing good for a 90-year-old man.’”
Bachman found out that Charles was actually a WWII veteran, and reached out to Officer Nate Schwiethale, who is in charge of the Wichita Police Department’s Homeless Outreach Team. “He showed me a pile of limbs and trees that he had collected to help out the automotive place – they allowed him to stay in their parking lot and would help him out until he had a car repair,” Schwiethale said. “In that kind of heat at his age, who knows what could have happened.”
“He wanted a shower – he had been in that car a couple weeks, and he hadn’t showered. He wanted some food,” Schwiethale said. “I gave him some food and water, and then I got him in my vehicle and I transported him to a day shelter in order to get a shower and also do laundry.”
After being brought to the day shelter, the VA took Charles to the hospital for some minor treatments. While in the hospital, Schwiethale contacted Jennifer Garrison, CEO and co-founder of an organization that gives food and shelter to veterans called Passageways. “We dropped everything. … I got back with Officer Nate and said … ‘We can make this happen right now.’ The VA transported him out to our house, and I was there to meet and greet him,” Garrison said. “He was thrilled. This was a house, it wasn’t an institution – it wasn’t a sterile environment; this was a home.”
“We are going to help him find an apartment with the help of Salvation Army and the VA. We will furnish his apartment top to bottom, and Two Men and a Truck will move him for free,” Garrison said. “It took him honestly a while to wrap his head around it. We are so lucky he is with us today thanks to the police department finding him.”
“He served our country in World War II,” Schwiethale said. “There’s no reason for a vet to be homeless.”
Watch the entire video below to see what this cop did for a 90-year-old homeless veteran.
What would you do if you discovered a WWII veteran was living in his broken down car? Let us know what you think in the comments below and please SHARE this with friends on Facebook.
[Featured image: Facebook/Wichita Police Department]