Patriotism is a gift, and those who fight for the country deserve more than just commendations and awards. They deserve love.
96-year-old former Navy, Jack Le Vine, got showered with lots of love by his neighbors.
He Served His Whole Life
Jack joined the Navy a few weeks before he turned 18 and went to the Pacific on the USS Lesuth for two years before becoming a machinist’s mate first class on the aircraft carrier USS Gilbert Islands.
His Service Continued
After leaving the military, Jack joined the New York City Fire Department in 1957 and served for 20 years until he became a captain.
On Veteran’s Day
Jack usually had no plans during Veteran’s Day. He’d simply spend the day at home by himself because most of his veteran friends have already passed away and so did his wife whom he took care of for 7 years until he lost her to Alzheimer’s.
Jack’s neighbor in Brooklyn, New York, Elizabeth Dowling, posted Jack’s story on nextdoor.com. Her post said, “A WW2 Vet lives on 18th St. He’s 96, and may not see another Veteran’s Day.”
Show Some Love
Elizabeth instructed their neighbors. She said, “Please consider leaving a little token of gratitude this Thursday. A flag, flowers, card, patriotic or Veteran related stuff, FDNY, something your kid makes… use your imagination. He’s lived on this block for his entire life.”
And They Did
Letters of appreciation started arriving the evening before Veterans Day. Jack’s gifts included a potted plant with a card featuring a hand-drawn soldier, and a whole stack of letters written by children and their classmates.
“Jack, The Hero”
Ariel Clark and her 8-year-old twin daughters thanked him personally. She said, “We are so, so grateful. My grandfather was in Auschwitz. My father was born in a displaced persons’ camp and so without you, none of this would be possible.”
With all of this love, Jack never has to spend another Veteran’s Day alone.