A retired police officer was blessed with a patriotic gift for his birthday, thanks to the generosity of an unidentified neighbor.
If anything, the story demonstrates how giving Americans can be when they are freely serving those within their local community.
As WATE-TV reported, Tennessee resident Bill Yardley received an American flag for his birthday on May 21. While he wanted to mount it at his home, the retired officer could not hang the flag by himself due to a disability.
For Yardley and his wife, gardening has always been a shared passion. But several years ago, this hobby became difficult to perform, with Yardley’s wife noticing one day that her husband seemed “more clumsy than usual.”
It turns out the clumsiness was due to Parkinson’s disease.
According to the National Institute on Aging, Parkinson’s is a brain disorder that typically occurs in people due to their advanced age or a genetic mutation. Those who suffer from it experience tremors and, as the disease worsens, they might have trouble walking and talking.
While there is no cure for Parkinson’s, some of its symptoms can be relieved through medicines and surgeries.
Still, according to WATE, the disease has “drastically” changed Yardley’s life.
“I can no longer drive,” the Knox County resident said during an interview with WATE. “I cannot do anything. I spent several years as a police officer and a traveling supervisor for a retail outlet.”
Despite the challenges of coping with such a diagnosis, the retired officer and his wife have not lost their shared love for gardening. Not only have the pair worked hard to make it look “inviting,” it was Yardley’s wife who gifted him with the American flag kit so he could mount the flag on his front porch.
In need of assistance, Yardley reached out to neighbors through Nextdoor, a platform that builds connectivity within communities through online interaction.
The application not only offers a virtual way for people to communicate with their neighbors — it allows them to request to borrow tools.
In addition to asking if he could borrow a power screwdriver, Yardley asked if one of his neighbors could drill the three holes needed to install the flag.
As for the rest of the work, Yardley planned to do it himself once he had the necessary tools.
Fortunately for him, however, a Good Samaritan within his community was prepared to go to great lengths to help their neighbor.
After Yardley left the house for a doctor’s appointment, he was in for a surprise when he returned. One neighbor had saved him the trouble of putting up the flag by mounting it on a pole for him.
“I cannot tell you what that meant to me. It’s nice to know that in this day and time that there’s still the Tennessee tradition of volunteering,” the retired officer said.
While he doesn’t know the generous volunteer’s name, the kindness of the deed goes beyond helping a disabled neighbor in need. According to the report, Yardley’s son is serving his country in the U.S. Air Force.
“I get to look at my flag and think of my son, who is serving his country in the Air Force,” he said.
Even though Yardley might never meet the neighbor who helped him, he knows exactly what he would say if the opportunity ever arose.
“I would just say, ‘God bless you’; you helped out a person in need.'”
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