Austin Cares - Community Works Together To Help Fix WWII Veterans Home

Posted by Kent Redding on Thursday, January 31st, 2019 at 1:33pm

There's no doubt that it's been a cold, wet winter for Austin but what if you don't have a home with working heating to keep you warm on those cold winter days? That's exactly what happened to Louis Hicks, a 92 year old WWII Veteran who found himself having to use his stove to heat his home.

Still, living in a house built in the 1930's means sometimes things slip through the cracks. For Hicks that includes repairing walls, ceilings and floors.

After members of the community saw the story on FOX 7 Austin News, they realized they could help the veteran live more comfortably, they immediately started showing up for him. “We want to try to coordinate as much as we can getting the public's help, coming over giving back to a veteran,” said Jared Dishman with the Wind Therapy Freedom Riders.

“I specialize in flooring, but, obviously everybody who does manual work is pretty good with their hands, but I knew for a fact I could help out with the floors,” said Fernando Zapot.

It was a surprising and humbling moment for Hicks. He said as a proud veteran he didn't ever considering asking a stranger for help, but it was an offer he couldn't refuse. “We know they're very proud. We're very proud of them. We don't want to give to them and make them feel less, we just want to give and make their lives better,” Dishman said.

“The first thing that he said was, ‘Who's going to pay for it?’ And I told him, ‘don't worry about it. I'll find the carpet and, obviously, I'm going to do the installation myself so no problem there at all,” said Zapot.

“If you never had anyone to help you, give you anything, offer you anything, you just lay there and just be thinking… God is good,” Hicks said.

Wednesday, Zapot measured each room for new carpet. Meanwhile, Wind Therapy Freedom Riders started working to create an event for the second weekend in February to seal and repair Hicks' home. “If those two don't know nothing about me and come, somebody else hearing it too,” said Hicks.

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