A 21-year-old woman insisted on helping a disabled veteran with his shopping even though he was hesitant to accept her assistance. And what she did next left him in tears. Through this mortifying experience, the lady hopes to inspire others to reach out to many other veterans in need.
On June 4, 2015, Morgan Wheeler, in her early 20s, of Fayetteville, West Virginia, was about to pull out of Walmart’s parking lot when a man in a wheelchair was in her path.
“I had to wait for a man in a wheelchair to pass by. As I watched him, I noticed that he was missing his right leg from the knee down and was wearing, what appeared to be, old, government issued, combat boots,” Wheeler wrote in a Facebook post.
The man, perhaps in his 60s or 70s, rested for a few times, before he struggled to cross the street, as reported by TODAY. Wheeler waited as he waved at her apologetically.
Wheeler could have driven off after the man had passed by, but instead, she got out of her car, and asked if she could assist him with his shopping.
The man “quite grumpily” said he was doing fine. However, that didn’t stop this young lady from actively helping the old gent.
She pushed him to talk and open up a little, but the man said he only needed help to the door. Unshaken, Wheeler continued to tell him about herself.
Later, the man unwillingly told Wheeler he lived in Sod-Lincoln County, and had recently lost his wife.
When asked if he was a veteran, he said yes. Suddenly, seeing the agony on his face when she had brought up the topic, Wheeler changed the subject straight away, and asked him about his shopping list.
The man’s simple list only had peanut butter, soup, bread, and bananas. He didn’t want to buy any dairy products like milk, eggs, and butter, as these items might go bad by the time he reached home.
“So I questioned how he got to the store,” Wheeler wrote. The veteran replied he wheeled his way to the highway, and hitchhiked with a trucker to get to the parking lot.
Hearing that, Wheeler had decided she was going to book him a taxi, after helping with his shopping.
When she placed a gallon of milk in his cart, the veteran started crying. “People were passing by us, looking sideways at him,” Wheeler wrote.
She knelt down, asking him what’s wrong. He said she was doing far too much for an old man she barely knew.
Wheeler said, “from the family I was raised in, we help one another.” She added that he deserved everything “because he fought for my freedom and sacrificed so much.”
She paid for the veteran’s groceries, and he thanked her constantly.
After loading his groceries and wheelchair into the taxi, she gave him the $44 she had with her.
Wheeler said it was a “thank you for his service.” The veteran emotionally thanked her one last time before parting ways.
Meeting the veteran was a humbling experience for Wheeler, who wrote, “How many people passed him and would have continued to pass him while he struggled?”
“There are far too many people like that gentleman who need help and I want to encourage everyone to help others. Trust me, it will be a very humbling experience,” Wheeler told TODAY.