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Sapulpa community rallies to buy veteran a new mower

robert and richard.jpg
Posted at 3:28 PM, Jun 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-25 11:40:39-04

A simple drive home changed the lives of two Oklahomans and made both of them "better."

"I saw this elderly man on his scooter pushing a mower, mowing his yard," Robert Shook said. He was driving home when he passed a neighbor trying to mow his year. The look on the gentleman's face is what affected him most.

"The determination of him, riding a scooter, pushing a push-mower uphill, just blew my mind," said Shook.

Shook is a landscaper and had all his equipment with him, so he offered to finish the job for free. But the man refused.

"He said it's one of those things I like doing, I can still do and feel good about myself," Shook said. "And that, man, it took me by surprise. He told me he was an Air Force veteran and served in Vietnam, so I felt like I had to help him."

Shook said we should all do what we can to help those who have served. He decided a Go-Fund-Me would be the best way to help. So he started one to raise money to buy Richard a new riding lawn mower since Richard just can't get around like he used to.

"I raised $3,000 in 18 hours," he said.

Shook said about 80 people donated. Most of them were strangers. "I don't know 90% of them."

Shook took the money and bought Richard the mower of his dreams. He could choose - a zero-turn mower or one that drove like a car.

"(He said) I want a steering wheel," Shook said. "I was like you got a problem with John Deere? And he said Nope! Nothing runs like a deere."

When it was time to present Richard with his life-changing gift, Robert himself got a little surprise. It was a card from Richard and his wife to all those who donated and changed their lives.

The card said "My wife and I are 74 year old newlyweds and we feel so blessed. God is so good to us and so are all the people in and around Sapulpa. I'm new to the area and I love living here in Green Country."

It's a day both men will remember and cherish. A day one Oklahoman decided he had to help another Oklahoman who had proudly served our country.

When asked if he made a new friend in Robert, he responded "I think so, I've made a new friend I know that!"

"If you can help somebody, go for it," Robert added. "You can change somebody's life.

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