VENICE (CBSLA.com) — When two LAPD officers were recently called to the house of a 94-year-old World War II veteran who lives by himself in a Venice apartment, they wanted to let the elderly man know that he’s not alone during the holidays.
Officer Natalie Nunez and Officer Abel Torres received a call to check on the elderly veteran, Herman Perry, on Friday night after concerned neighbors said they hadn’t heard from Perry in a few days.
“We all got to take care of each other,” neighbor Amy Blakeney said.
The officers entered the apartment with the help of the building manager and found that Perry was fine.
Perry hadn’t heard his neighbors calls since he has trouble hearing. And he hadn’t walked outside of his apartment due to a recent fall that caused an injury.
The officers were even more surprised to hear the man was a World War II veteran living on his own, without family nearby.
“He doesn’t get visitors often, so that pulls on the heart strings a little bit,” Nunez said.
The officers stayed and chatted for a while and decided they would pay Perry another visit later — with a Christmas tree in tow.
At around 1 a.m., after their patrol was over, the officers drove to a tree lot and asked a man if he would open up after-hours to sell them a tree.
The man said no — after hearing why the officers wanted the tree, the man insisted on giving them a tree and Christmas lights free of charge.
The officers returned to Perry’s apartment building and left the tree for him to find when he awoke the next morning.
“I was surprised when I saw it the next day,” Perry said. “All I can say is thank you.”
The officers decided to help Perry clean his apartment and brought some more gifts, too.
“I owe a lot of my freedoms to the people who sacrificed for this country, so I just wanted to do something nice,” Nunez said.