Elderly Veteran Calls 911. Lady Cop Arrives And Notices His Kitchen, Then She Does Something Shocking!

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“When War veteran Lewis Hicks dialed 911 to report a simple theft, he never expected that his call would lead to far more than just a simple crime report. When the lady cop who attended to the case saw his kitchen, she did something shocking in his neighborhood in the Eastern section of Austin, Texas. Lewis Hicks was well known as a kind Uncle who helped out with yard work and could bake melt-in-your-mouth delicious cornbread. But while Mr. Hicks was always ready to lend a helping hand to a neighbor, few even suspected that he himself was in dire need.

But one day, when he went to his shed at the back of his home to get some tools, he made a disturbing discovery. Some of the equipment he kept there had gone missing. Somewhat baffled that he, of all people, would be targeted by thieves, Mr. Hicks dialed 911. His complaint was investigated by police officers Chastity Salazar and Bino Cenas, who treated him with courtesy and respect as they took down his statement.

Officer Salazar commented on his years of service to his country as a war veteran, which made the old man feel proud. But then Officer Salazar noticed something that was off, a sound that seemed out of place, and she decided to make a more detailed inspection of his living arrangements. And that was when she made an unsettling discovery.

In their daily run of duty, police officers answer all kinds of calls. Sometimes they are required to intervene in volatile situations where lives are at risk and every minute counts. But there are also occasions when they are called upon to take a different type of action. In the case of War veteran Lewis C. Hicks, officers Salazar and Cadenas soon discovered that theft was only a small part of the challenges that Mr. Hicks faced.

Mr. Hicks was a proud American who loved his country. As one of more than 16 million American soldiers who served in World War II, he had been a part of the great war effort that helped to liberate countries like France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Denmark from Nazi occupation. Soldiers like Mr. Hicks also played an active role in naval battles in the Pacific and helped to decisively end Japan’s terror campaign in the East.

He most likely faced cold winters, inadequate supplies, and the onslaught of enemy fire. But once veterans returned home, they faced a different battle, that of returning to civilian life. Lewis Hicks served his country in both the armed forces and the Navy. And when he was relieved from active service, he returned to his childhood home in East Austin, where he took care of his two younger sisters after his mother’s passing.

Mr. Hicks lived modestly and had always prided himself on his independence and self-sufficiency. As a beloved old grandfather, he had often in the past used his equipment to fix up the bicycles of children in the neighborhood. Even at his advanced age, Lewis Hicks could still be seen helping out neighbors with mowing their lawns or doing other odd jobs. Everyone who knew him loved his famous traditional cornbread. But at 92 years old, he was approaching the age where he needed to help himself. But no one seemed to be listening.

That was until Officers Salazar and Cadenas came in and decided to take charge. Officer Chastity Salazar heard the sound of his gas stove and asked the veteran whether he was cooking something. But when she entered his kitchen, she discovered that the stove was on for a completely different reason. There was nothing on the stove or in the oven, but Mr. Hicks had placed a fan next to it. Seeing this setup, Officer Salazar understood at once that he was using this makeshift setup in an attempt to warm up his house.

When Lewis faced the prospect of spending a freezing winter without a heater, he improvised by employing his gas stove and oven to keep his modest 1930s home warm. Mr. Hicks was a World War II veteran, and having weathered the harsh conditions and climate of that era, he knew that a Texas winter was something he could survive, even if he didn’t have the most efficient equipment. So he decided to make do as best he could.

But while this strategy seemed better than nothing, it could have potentially lethal consequences. Gas cookers can fill the atmosphere with higher concentrations of carbon monoxide, nitric oxide, and nitrogen dioxide, substances that are known to have a negative effect on respiration and cardiovascular health. Using them for short periods just to cook may be okay if your place is well ventilated. But to use a gas cooker as Mr. Hicks does, you would probably have it on all day, which means a much higher risk of exposure.

Additionally, when you open the oven door as Mr. Hicks did, you risk flooding your kitchen with these toxic gases. Additionally, this makeshift setup also creates a potential fire hazard and can be even more dangerous in case of gas leaks. Mr. Hicks had no other safe way to keep his home warm in winter and tried to be vigilant about keeping safe by regularly checking on the stove. But this just placed an extra burden on him. Still, his solution worked, sort of. But the setup was potentially hazardous and could result in the elderly veteran getting gassed or causing a fire.

As Officer Salazar looked around, she knew she was expected to reprimand the old man for putting himself at risk like that and potentially endangering the whole neighborhood. But all she could see was a frail grandpa who was too proud to ask for help and would rather shiver day and night until springtime than bother his neighbors. She felt a pang of pain in her chest. This man could be her grandfather, she thought, and she couldn’t bear to think of her own grandpa braving an entire winter like that.

Trying to retain her composure despite the tears that threatened to spill from her eyes, she asked the old man whether he had a better option to warm himself up. Mr. Hicks told Officer Salazar that he had a heater, but that it had burnt a hole in his carpet when it malfunctioned, so that wasn’t a better solution either. They left, Officer Salazar convinced that something had to be done for the old veteran who had faithfully served his country and deserved to spend his latter years in comfort, not shivering from the cold.

As Chastity Salazar discussed the situation with their partner, they realized that there was something practical that they could do for Mr. Hicks. Because police work was so often coupled with social and humanitarian issues, their Police Department was affiliated with several charities that did outreach work in the community. Officers Salazar and Cadenas approached the Austin Police Association Cops for Charity and the St. David’s Association. Through these organizations, they purchased a heater and air conditioning unit for Mr. Lewis Hicks and delivered these to his home.

Mr. Hicks was overwhelmed by their kindness. For many years, he had struggled to make do. As he cheerfully said to news outlets, ‘You hate to ask anybody cuz sometimes they’ll frown on you, and I’m a true veteran, I won’t ask, but our do-good cops were not yet done with the struggling veteran, because they had more in store for him.

With their intervention at the home of World War II veteran Louis C. Hicks, police officers Chastity Salazar and Bino Cadenas attracted the attention of news outlets throughout Texas and nationally. The story of their good deed soon became a media sensation, and folks couldn’t get enough of this heartwarming, feel-good story of the two caring cops.

But as the story gained traction, more community members got interested in helping to ease the plight of a humble man who had served his nation in the military. This outpouring of support moved the 92-year-old veteran to tears. As he said to one reporter, ‘It means every 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.’

Soon, the Austin Police Department and Mr. Hicks were completely overwhelmed as more offers of help rolled in. A few days after the delivery of the original heater, police officers Chastity Salazar and Bino Cadenas were back at Mr. Hicks’s front door. This time to inform him of the happy news that he had been gifted with an upgrade. Someone had donated an electric fireplace, which was to be installed. He also received free meals, coffee, and Tiff’s Treat cookies, a homegrown Texas specialty. And the Austin Police Association, St. David’s Foundation, and Charity for Cops announced that they had purchased 10 more heaters to share with other veterans in need of help.

With more and more people inquiring about how they could help, Officer Bino Cadenas paid the old man a follow-up visit and engaged him about creating a wish list to see to other necessities. The veteran asked for some food items and a few clothing necessities. In response, Officer Bino Cadenas set up a GoFundMe page for Mr. Hicks, and with the help of the public, they raised over $10,000 for the old man.

But then another group got involved, and they also had a bold plan for improving Mr. Lewis Hicks’s living conditions. The Wind Therapy Freedom Riders is an Austin-based motorcycle club that takes its community-based outreach very seriously. They have a number of programs, from suicide prevention to anti-bullying drives, but they have a specific interest in service to benefit War veterans, first responders, and law enforcement officers.

They run road safety initiatives for law enforcement officers and often attend the funerals of War veterans who no longer have any living family. When they heard of Lewis Hicks and his struggles, they jumped in to offer their services to him. Since Mr. Hicks had been living in the same house since 1936, he had understandably accumulated a fair amount of junk. And his previous hobby of tinkering around with broken bicycles and lawnmowers meant that there was still a fair amount of broken machinery lying around his yard. Obviously, he had meant to get around to fixing more of them, but with his failing strength, the situation was getting out of hand.

The Wind Therapy Freedom Riders showed up at the veteran’s yard with a team of eager volunteers to assist with a cleanup operation. As these young, hefty bikers pitched in to clean up the yard, Mr. Lewis Hicks found his home and his yard transformed. An outside light was also installed to discourage future break-ins, and the group planned to set up a perimeter fence as well to protect the property. And afterward, club president Luis Rodriguez presented Mr. Hicks with his very own Wind Therapy Freedom Rider vest emblazoned with the road name “Big Papa.”

Officers Chastity Salazar and Bino Cadenas continued to keep an eye on Lewis Hicks, the veteran whose life they had changed with their kindness and proactive approach. Through their intervention, they showed the world that cops also have a caring side and that community members are often more than ready to answer a call for help.

And there is more good news that came out of this single encounter. With all the attention the story attracted in the media, Mr. Hicks was able to reconnect with a couple of long-lost family members who saw the story and then got in touch. He might still live by himself, but he is definitely not alone anymore. What a beautiful outcome! If you have a similar story about a police officer who did more than his duty, tell us in the comments. We’d love to hear it. For now, though, we’re out of here.

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