CICERO , Ind. – Veterans across the country experience hardship like anyone else, but sometimes there is hope at the end of the tunnel. That hope came to Dave Feltner by his neighbors and community members.
Feltner will be the last one to admit that he has a big heart, but his neighbors will.
"He may come off as being mister grumpy because that’s what he would like everyone to think, but he’s just melted butter inside," neighbor Kathy Bures said.
Feltner is a two-year Air Force amputee veteran and former police officer. He's dedicated his life to helping others. He never expected anything in return.
"I think to myself, 'I’m nobody special. I'm nobody important. I’m just a guy,'" Dave Feltner said.
Just a guy trying to survive medical bills, an aging home, and dealing with life without his right leg. A guy deserving of a little help, so Bures made a phone call to get the wheel rolling for some assistance.
Two months ago, she cared enough to call the post commander for Cicero American Legion post 34, Jody Brown, to help get Feltner a new wheelchair ramp and an electric wheelchair.
Brown called up Cicero’s police chief and they got Home Depot involved. This week, they sent 60 volunteers to build a ramp to make life a little easier.
"The level of gratitude that I have, I can’t express that," Feltner said.
Volunteers went the extra mile and painted the inside of his home, put down new kitchen floors, and bought his family a new dishwasher.
"To know first hand what a human being is capable of in a negative way, it affects you, but at the same time, we can really do some amazing things," Feltner said.
Feltner’s list of things he needed was cut in half in one day all because his community decided to step up and make a call.
"One of these days, I'm going to get a leg that works and I'll rise," Feltner said.
Home Depot plans to come back out to stain the ramp and fix a few more things around Feltner's house. Overall, the ramp would’ve cost $18,000 to build if it hadn't been donated.