BERWYN, Ill. (CBS) — The life of a veteran in west suburban Berwyn was forever changed Thursday thanks to some kind strangers he now calls family.
CBS 2’s Marissa Parra had the heartwarming story Thursday of Berwyn police officers who went above and beyond.READ MORE: Aldermen To Vote On $14 Million Settlement In Wrongful Conviction Case In 1989 Murder Of Retired CPD Sergeant's Wife
Military veteran James Nicoletti could hardly believe his eyes when he walked into the room. It was the same disbelief he felt just days ago.
“There was five policemen in my apartment in Berwyn. I thought I was being arrested,” Nicoletti said. “I go, ‘Where am I goin’? And he said, ‘We’ve come to help you.’”
Nicoletti had called the Veterans Affairs hotline because he wasn’t getting his military checks. He had just moved back to Illinois.
That was when Berwyn police got called. And when Officer Ed Tovar responded, he was shocked to find the veteran was sick, and had not eaten in days.
“He had been sleeping in his bathtub,” Tovar said. “As a human being, it didn’t seem right to me. No one should have to live in those conditions.”READ MORE: Art Institute's 'A Sunday On La Grande Jatte' To Be Displayed Reframed On Tuesday
The officers went to their own homes to get what they could, but they didn’t’ stop at their own front door.
They took to Facebook, and the post took off. Now, clothes, furnishings, food, and gift cards are among the donations from around the country for a veteran who felt forgotten.
“I guess I am a someone,” Nicoletti said. “I guess I’m somebody.”
For somebody who just weeks ago thought he had nothing, he sure is rich where it matters now.
The officers helped the veteran get a job too. The Home 2 Home Project also offered to furnish Nicoletti’s home.MORE NEWS: New Shield Testing Site Now Available At DePaul University's Loop Campus
Berwyn police are looking for volunteers to help carry and transport the furniture. If you’re interested in helping, they’ll meet outside the Berwyn Police Department, 6401 W. 31st St., at 9 a.m. Sunday.