Joseph 'Dusty' Ridlon, a retired plumber, came across a precious purple heart medal while walking down the street in his New York Neighborhood. When he picked it up, he knew he had to return it to its original owner right away.
On the back on the medal was an inscription with the name Sergeant B.J. McNamara on it. Dusty took the medal to his local American Leagon Post to try and track down the sergeant. From there, they contacted U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer's office.
After many hours of research and dead ends, they finally found the daughter of Sergeant McNamara and were able to safely return the medal to her.
The daughter was extremely grateful and said the medal had been lost around 50 years ago. She was so thrilled to be able to have it back! What an amazing story of how the kindness of one stranger can solve a 50 year old mystery.
A riding mower may seem like a luxury, but for a disabled veteran struggling with a push mower, it was a true blessing and a heartwarming surprise!
Many of our brave soldiers never return from war. They pay the ultimate price for the sake of their country. But even for the soldiers who come home after serving, the sacrifices are great.
Specialist Christopher Garrett is one of those soldiers. While serving in Afghanistan as a combat engineer with the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division, Christopher was shot and wounded. He was placed on medical retirement and sent back to Joseph, Oregon. While he was glad to return home to his family, he did under the classification of 100% disabled.
Though his disability turned things that used to be easy enough -- such as using his push mower to cut the grass -- into arduous tasks, Christopher pushed past the pain like the true soldier he is.
Then, one day, Christopher's wife, Brittany, found him with tears in his eyes and a letter in his hand from an anonymous stranger.
The letter accompanied a beautiful act of kindness meant to honor Christopher for the incredible sacrifice he'd made for his country which Brittany shared on Facebook. She wrote:
"Where do I begin? Something AMAZING happened today! As I was getting ready for my day, my husband appeared at the door with tears in his eyes holding our son. My heart sank and I thought someone we love took a trip to Heaven....He quickly assured me that no one had died, but someone had just given him a very expensive riding lawn mower!
I don't know who they are, but they have been watching my 100% combat disabled husband push mow our entire yard once or twice a week, and thought this would help make more time for the important things in life!!!
THANK YOU WHOEVER YOU ARE!!! You don't know how much pain this is going to save him from!!!"
Brittany's touching post has been shared nearly 250,000 times to date! And once Christopher had a chance to try out his new riding mower, she posted an update about just how much the gift has meant to the family:
We'll never be able to repay Christopher or the other soldiers for the sacrifices they make on our behalf. But this Good Samaritan certainly has the right idea!
We can't all afford a riding mower, but each of us can find our own way to show appreciation. Whether it's treating a soldier to a meal, finding a way to help their family, or just offering a handshake with a heartfelt "thank you" -- expressing our gratitude can have a huge impact on those who dedicate their lives to protecting ours!