A marine has successfully raised more than $13,000 for a veteran in need after having met him less than 24 hours prior.
The amazing story of U.S. Marine Guido Filippone helping World War II veteran Mike Gazella is making headlines across the nation.
Filippone serendipitously met Gazella outside of a Veterans Affairs clinic in Austin, Texas.
The Marine said he saw the vet and immediately thanked him for his service. During the conversation the two subsequently shared, Filippone learned of Gazella’s high medical costs and immediately took action.
Check it out, per the Daily Caller:
U.S. Marine Guido Filippone set up a GoFundMe page and raised over $13,000 for a fellow veteran in need, after having just having met him for the first time that day.
The page was set up right after they met and was able to raise all of the money within 24 hours, according to Fox News.
Filippone said Gazella was having trouble getting reimbursed by the VA and had driven to the clinic to see if the VA would pay his $4,000 balance, Fox News reported.
Here’s more, per GoFundMe:
Today, I was coming out of my VA appointment and as I walked out of the building, I noticed a gentleman wearing a WWII cap who was slowly moving with his walker towards the parking lot. I immediately approached him, shook his hand and thanked him for service and asked if anyone was coming to pick him up or have a ride. He pointed out that he drove himself and that his car was parked in the lot, and was going to walk there since there was no one with a golf cart or means to get him there faster..now, the heat here in Texas is enough to make anyone feel it and today was no different. I didn’t feel concerned because we know how tough our WW2 veterans are, but you never know. So, I asked if I could at least walk with him towards his car..and so we did.
On our way there, we got to talking about his service, shared some stories from his time in the Army, a little bit about his family, childhood memories and what not, in fact, he lives near Leander, TX and my town of Pflugerville is actually very close to him. As a Marine veteran myself, I always took the time to learn and appreciate from those who have gone before me. During the conversation he asked me “How is the VA treating you?” I replied: “I can’t complain”. He then paused and said “I can’t say the same”…and this is where the story begins.
In short, he has medical bills that have been piling up for over a year due to some medical procedures he had undergo outside of the VA. Medicare covered most of it, but the remnants was up to the VA, and we all know how long that takes. As time went on, his medical bills keep coming and he’s trying to work through the red tape. I asked how much he needed to cover and said $4000.00
I offered to help but he refused and understandably so, he just met me 5 minutes ago. But, for those of you who know me personally, know how far I’m willing to go for our veterans. So, I’ve decided to set this up and because I put my money where my mouth is, I’ve donated the first $1000.
“I plan on running this for 7 days,” the campaign concludes. “It took God 7 days to build the world, and I think we can do the right thing in the same amount of time. All funds will go directly to him so that he can pay off his medical debts that have accrued, and anything extra, I’m sure he can spend it for what he needs..after all, he has earned it.”
According to the report, Gazella initially denied any assistance. Filippone decided to help anyway.
“If I had a checkbook, I would have given the money to him right there. I wouldn’t want a World War II vet to move on to the next phase of life in debt,” the Marine said, per the Daily Caller.
“I have to track this guy down. I know he goes to Starbucks every day in Leander — there’s only two Starbucks in Leander,” Filippone added. “I’m going to go to both, ask around and give him a check.”
And, “I could have easily just walked away and moved on. It’s nice to give back when you can.”
Filippone added, per Fox News, “I always say we already have the Greatest Generation—we should be the better generation. Never miss a chance to thank a veteran.”
— Fox News (@FoxNews) May 18, 2018
Here’s how some people responded:
Thank you for your service sir. May God Bless you and watch over you.
— Shirley Lussier (@toby99ok) May 18, 2018
— Bill Elliott (@BillEll31447036) May 18, 2018
— monty63 (@zumyny) May 18, 2018
Do we expect anything less from a marine ?
— Rich Edmunds (@richontheroad96) May 19, 2018