Community rallies around disabled purple heart veteran

Marine Corps Sergeant Addison Barber, 76, is a Vietnam veteran. He was awarded a Purple Heart and is as tough as they come, but when temperatures fell below freezing in his home, it was almost too much to withstand.

Barber, who is partially paralyzed after a stroke, hasn't had heat since last June. 

"I've been using the stove in the kitchen,” he told FOX 46, “and that kept the house warm enough so I don't get really, really cold.” 

His stove and wool blankets were all he had until his community stepped in. 

Holly Schmitt, Barber’s former caretaker, shared his story on Facebook and started a GoFundMe. They raised more than $2,000 and within hours someone paid the oil company enough to keep his house heated through the winter. 

FOX 46 made a call to the grocery chain Publix, which donated food to fill his empty fridge.

Kimberly Reynolds with Publix helped deliver the groceries. 

“It means a lot to us and it's really just what we needed to do to give back,” Reynolds said. “He served our country so this is an honor.”

It shows the power of community when we stand together to say “thank you” to someone who has given so much.