GOODBYE ANDY: Helping a vet

Updated: Dec. 13, 2017 at 10:40 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - It's a beautiful thing when you can help someone who's been hurt the way Earnest Sanders, Jr. was hurt.

As if the paralyzed Army veteran didn't have enough to manage, two unlicensed contractors built a leaking, ramshackle garage that was supposed to accommodate his disability back in February. My investigation revealed the scab contractors took more than $40,000 from Sanders and vanished.

"They quit taking my calls, and I did everything that I could do," Sanders lamented in our original story.

That's when I started making calls.

My first pitch was to Todd Hart of Hart Family Construction. Hart dropped everything to assemble a contractor dream team that tore that sorry excuse for a garage down, redesigned it and built a disabled-access garage truly suited for a man who served his country.

"Oh, man, that's nice!" Sanders exclaimed when he saw the finished product. His daughter Dinah cried.

Then the team surprised Sanders by replacing the roof on his house and re-landscaping his yard. For free. "I can't put into words how much you mean to me, and I want to thank you all," Sanders said as he addressed the dream team for the last time.

Hart and I shook hands on a plan to try to rescue a veteran in need at least once a year -- until my plans changed. "I hate it because that's some big shoes to fill," he said. "You've done a lot for this city, the state of Tennessee...they better start looking and looking deep."

You don't have to look deep to do good. God was good to me when he led me to Earnest Sanders, Jr. I count it a joy to call him my friend. "Well, I enjoy calling you a friend, too!" he told me. "No one else could have done what you did for me."

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