HUBER HEIGHTS, Ohio (WDTN) — A family is closer to making it home after a Huber Heights community comes together to help.
A wounded veteran and his family were on their way back to Oklahoma when their car broke down. They were strapped for cash and stranded at the Walmart in Huber Heights for days when a group decided to do something about it.
Community members organized a donation drive at the Tim Horton’s in Huber Heights for what they’ve called Operation Tulsa. It’s mission is to collect donations to send the family back to Oklahoma.
“A man and his family broke down on I-70 and pushed their car to the Walmart parking lot here in Huber Heights where they have been living in pretty much just in the car,” said Connie Ames, supporter of Operation Tulsa.
Walmart gave the family 24 hours to remove the car from the parking lot. A stranger then put up the family in a hotel, but they were kicked out for surpassing the room capacity.
“It’s sad that we have people out here bashing these people,” said Melissa Barlow, President of the AMVETS Post 464. “They don’t– they’re not asking for handouts. We’re the ones asking to help them to get them back home to Oklahoma.”
Knowing what the family has faced, groups started to act. They learned the veteran was with his wife, his sister, and three children, one of whom has autism and another who is blind.
Teaming together with Tim Hortons, Dayton Transmissions, and a local towing company, Operation Tulsa is now closer to completing its mission.
A local business has stepped up to fix the car, but there is a chance that it may be beyond repair. Operation Tulsa leaders say they could still use more help. If you’d like to help, you can go to the Everything Huber Heights Facebook page.