Commander who drove 1,500 miles to bring vet's body home honored

When a man who served in World War II needed a new home after a fire, Commander Ricardo Pea was there to get the ball rolling.

"We need to help our veterans," Pea said.

When a woman couldn't afford to transport the body of her late father home who served in the Vietnam War, Commander Ricardo Pea was there to drive 1,500 miles so she could provide him a proper military funeral.

"We had to step in to help," the commander said.

From flag raising ceremonies for families who lost loved ones in war to help with hearing aids so veterans can regain their independence, America's Last Patrol is there.

"We're a non-profit organization and we don't get paid for what we do," Pea said. "Most of the time we put money out of our own pockets."

Commander Pea thinks he's in the Action 4 Newsroom for an interview about fundraising for his Post #3.

"I have a surprise for you," Action 4's Ryan Wolf said. "This isn't just about raising money for America's Last Patrol."

"Really?" Pea asked. "What is it about?"

"What if I tell you this story is really about you?" Ryan asked.

"Wow," he responded with a puzzled look on his face.

It's a Pay it 4Ward surprise Ricardo didn't see coming.

But to truly understand why he's a deserving recipient, look no further than his background as a 4th generation veteran.

"Tell me what you're feeling?" Ryan asked.

"I'm sorry," he said while starting to tear. "This means a lot. I had an uncle that got killed in the Korean War. He was 19-years-old. My dad was a Korean War vet. My uncle, 32 years, command sergeant major in the Army. It means a lot."

Bill Jones with FNB Insurance Agency lets the commander in on the reward for his selflessness.

"I've seen your stories on TV," he said. "I know about them personally. I think the job that you people do is admirable. The way you honor our veterans right now is just a fabulous thing that you do. So on behalf of Action 4 News and FNB Insurance we'd like to thank you. So hold out your hand sir."

Bill counts out $400 dollars in cash.

People in the Action 4 Newsroom, from reporters and anchors to sales department representatives, begin to clap and cheer for the commander's nomination.

Ricardo says he doesn't do it for the recognition.

"I want to salute you," Ryan said to him. "Thank you for everything you do for this community."

But he's thankful people will now know how America's Last Patrol truly leaves no man behind.

"Pay it 4Ward!" the commander said.

Anyone who would like to make a donation to America TMs Last Patrol Post #3 can do so at any IBC Bank under the account #2512906612.

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