Veteran brought to tears after honoring friend with PTSD
Tony Garcia is a Vietnam veteran who has full blown Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which is commonly known as PTSD.
But the retired Air Force man doesn't let his disability stop him from making sure other vets who suffer from the same condition get the help they need.
His work is what a fellow veteran wants to recognize on Pay it 4Ward.
A fake veteran TMs group meeting is set up with Tony as part of the surprise.
Tony thinks he's been called to the meeting to discuss upcoming plans.
He's in for a big surprise.
Action 4's Ryan Wolf walks into the room.
"I'm looking for a guy named Tony," Ryan said.
"Oh God!" Tony said. "What did I do?"
What he did is nothing less than extraordinary.
This real American hero truly leaves no man behind.
Tony uses his own time to speak to fellow vets about V.A. Benefits and clinic issues as well the help available for PTSD.
In the span of a year, he's turned a support group of just 2 into 26 where he uses his own money for veterans to regularly meet.
Edward Saldivar works side-by-side with Tony and called Action 4 News to Pay it 4Ward.
"I've seen you give," Edward told Tony. "You give of yourself. You take phone calls at 3 in the morning from fellow veterans who need to talk to you. You feed them pizza once a month. You take them to the V.A. when they need it. You never stop giving. This is why I sent it out on Pay it 4Ward. Because you give so much to our community. And it means so much to our veterans. On behalf of FNB Insurance and Action 4 News, I want to Pay it 4Ward."
Edward hands Tony $400 in cash for his kindness.
"We have a t-shirt that says he who sheds blood for me shall forever be my brother... and, Edward, you are my brother," Tony said just before shaking his hand and giving him a big hug.
Their group's work has received congressional recognition.
But Tony says it's not about the accolades rather the act of helping others.
"We had a motto in our organization that we would deliver anything, anywhere, anytime at any place and we're still willing to do that here for our vets in the Brownsville area," Tony said.
FNB Insurance Agency partners with Pay it 4Ward.
Their spokesperson, Karen Gonzalez, shares why Tony is so deserving of the prize.
"Every week we've told the stories of the unsung heroes, but this week we get to honor a true American hero," she said. "That's why FNB Insurance couldn't be happier to Pay it 4Ward."
Tony plans to use his Pay it 4Ward prize to give back by starting an arts and crafts fund to help keep vets occupied.