KOB 4 Surprise Squad Pays it 4ward to veterans | KOB 4
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KOB 4 Surprise Squad Pays it 4ward to veterans

KOB Web Staff
November 13, 2018 12:21 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— KOB 4's Pay it 4ward Surprise Squad honored veterans for Veterans Day.

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John Abele' Story:

John Abele has a lot of stories about serving in the U.S. Marine Corps.

The stories make people realize veterans were ready to do whatever was necessary to defend the United States.

He remembers the shock of Ronald Regan being shot.

“So we were all put in cattle cars,” he said. “We're just sitting there and nobody would tell us anything.”

Abele’s life has taken a turn.

His stories today reflect the struggles he and his wife are trying to get through.

“I got sick in August of last year,” He said. “I ended up losing my job in November of that same year and we really couldn't afford anything.”

Abele said doctors drained both of his lungs and he had to go to rehab to learn to walk again. He also has arthritis and diabetes.

His wife has high blood pressure and diabetes.

KOB 4 wanted to make sure Abele knew his service for the country is still appreciated.

With the help of Armada Home Health and Hospice, along with the Goodwill, Abele was a pair of recliners, a couch and a chair for his home.

“You don't realize how hard sometimes other people have it and it really makes you realize how fortunate you are to have just the basic necessities in life,” said Chris Tapia of Armada Home Care & Hospice.

Garland Leatherman's Story:

Garland Leatherman saw a lot during his time in the Air Force. 

He spent time station in Germany and South Korea. 

"I loved it all. (I) got to see the world," he said.

However, things have changed. Leatherman said he has a pacemaker now and his knees and back aren't what they used to be.

"With my wife being the only one working, it was just, we were short on money, and it was like every payday we were getting further and further behind," Leatherman said.

Leatherman and wife also can't help but worry about the seven children they have between them and their 10 grandchildren.

"We're sure they're fed and watered and got a place to lay," said Leatherman. "We can't always buy them the fancy stuff.

"We don't even have a dresser so it's kind of 'this bag is theirs, this bag's ours,' so that's how we're living right now until we can get us a dresser," Leatherman said.

With the help of corporate sponsor Armada, KOB 4 gave the Leathermans two dressers and an armoire. 

Recently, the Leathermans took in one of their grandchildren.

"I don't know what to think, thank you, thank ya very much," Leatherman said. "This is such a help, such a help, like I say, we're living out of trash bags, trash bags for socks, trash bag for this, no more, no more.

Patrick Vermont’s story

Patrick Vermont served in the Air Force from 1980-1986.

However, adjusting to civilian life has not been easy for Patrick.

He said he suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and memory loss.

He said not having any family in New Mexico makes things tougher.

“My daughter is in Buffalo," Vermont said.

Vermont’s daughter recently gave birth to a girl, who hasn’t been able to see.

To thank him for his service to the country, KOB 4 and Armada Healthcare, gave him calendars so he can write down when he has doctor appointments. In addition, he received a $250 gift card to Smith's and $750 worth of Southwest gift cards so he can visit his daughter and grandchild in New Jersey.

“From my heart, everybody - thank you,” Vermont said.

Credits

KOB Web Staff

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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