It was supposed to be an easy drive for 92-year-old World War II veteran Oscar Ehrhart when he went to attend a local American Legion.
One wrong turn derailed his journey, though—and the Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, resident realized he’d traveled over 200 miles before accepting that it was too dark to keep going. When the sun went down, the veteran had arrived in Robbinsville, New Jersey.
Hoping to gather his bearings and find his way back home in the morning, Erhart stopped in a random driveway and rang the bell to ask the residents a favor.
All he wanted was to park his car in their driveway and sleep there for the night. He didn’t ask for a spare bedroom, but simply for a place to keep his vehicle safe from assailants or a tow truck.
Instead, the community came together to make sure he had a much more comfortable option.
When Erhart declined the homeowners’, Louise Butrovich Shea and her husband’s, offer of sleeping in their spare bedroom, not wanting to impose, they called the local police department to see if there was a way to find him a solution outside of a private residence.
Immediately, Robbinsville police Sergeant Thomas Egan called up the town’s Hampton Inn and Suites, making a reservation for Erhart and paying for it out of his own pocket. He then drove the elderly veteran to the hotel and helped him get checked in safely—but the kindness didn’t stop there.
When the hotel’s receptionist informed her manager of what was going on, the branch comped the room themselves—meaning that not only was Erhart off the hook for the extra expense, but the police officer was, as well.
“I was speechless. I mean you hear all of this negative stuff about police officers and it’s—it was heart warming, it was touching. You know, you don’t expect that. You expect, ok the officers are doing their job. They’re getting the person to where they need to be and they’re on their way but these officers went above and beyond,” said Nicole, the hotel’s receptionist.
The officers didn’t make a huge fuss out of the ordeal for Erhart, simply thanking him for his service before letting him get a good night’s rest ahead of the next day’s journey.
Later, Sgt. Egan also went back to the police station, and printed out directions for Erhart to drive back to Waynesboro, Pennsylvania. He handed it over to him in the hotel.
Robbinsville Mayor Dave Fried was definitely proud of Sgt. Egan and his team.
“They are an amazing group of men and women who do their jobs extremely well, and in many cases go above and beyond the call of duty,” Fried said in a statement.
“With so many negative media reports surrounding police forces around the country, the Robbinsville PD continues to be a beacon for what is right.”
For such a simple gesture, though, it’s clear what a huge impact this almost certainly had on everyone involved—after all, nothing restores faith in humanity like good deeds creating such an incredible chain reaction!
These four Robbinsville, NJ police officers offered to pay for a 92-year-old WW2 vet to stay at the Hampton Inn and…