Gilbert Larocque was doing errands over Memorial Day weekend when the motorized scooter the 67-year-old Vietnam veteran uses to get around went on the fritz.
“I didn’t know what I was going to do,” Larocque, who was left disabled after sustaining burns in the war, told the San Diego Union-Tribune.
But when two San Diego police officers, Eric Cooper and Milo Shields, noticed the former Army door gunner struggling Sunday afternoon, they jumped in to help.
“First we offered him a ride home,” Cooper told the Union-Tribune. "But his power chair was important to him. It was his independence and his mobility.”
So the two officers just decided to push Larocque all the way back home — more than a mile.
“My dad was a Vietnam veteran,” Cooper told the Union-Tribune. “If it was my dad, I would want someone to do the same thing.”
Larocque and the officers chatted throughout the trip, during which the wheels on the 300-pound scooter frequently locked up. Cooper asked him about his time in Vietnam and told Larocque about his dad's tour there.
Then a big realization hit Cooper.
“About halfway through, we realized it was Memorial Day weekend,” he told the paper. “We would have done it for anyone, but we definitely wanted to get that guy home.”
Larocque, who also cares for his 90-year-old father, said the help came at just the right time.
“It was a really great thing they did,” he told the Union-Tribune. “I really appreciated it.”
Here's an interview with Larocque and the two officers via KSWB-TV in San Diego:
(H/T: New York Daily News)