After Public Safety Officer Nick Basinger lent a homeless man a helping hand, he never expected what would happen five months later.
Officer Basinger, who works for Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, found the man sleeping under a park pavilion one summer night.
“You know the first thing I said to him? I started talking about Cardinal baseball,” Basinger told local news station KFVS12.
The man reacted suspiciously at first. “I think he was expected me to tell him to beat feet and leave,” Basinger added.
Basinger continued talking to the homeless man and found out that he was a military veteran of the US Gulf War of 1990-1991. “He was sleeping on the park bench,” Basinger observed. “No food, money, cell phone, nothing, he was just stranded out there.”
Basinger bought the man groceries and gave him the information needed to contact local chapters of the Salvation Army and Red Cross. After sharing a quick prayer together, Basinger gave the military veteran his phone number.
“Never thought I’d hear from him again!” Basinger said.
Five months later, that’s exactly what happened.
Basinger received a series of texts on his cell phone, thanking the public safety officer for lending him a helping hand. “I don’t know if you remember me or not, but this summer I was homeless in Cape Gurardo [sic] with no food no ride no phone sleeping in the park.”
“When I saw the police car pull up, I was thinking, here we go again,” the man added in his text.
He went on to thank Officer Basinger for not “belittling” him, and for not making him feel “trashy.”
“You were truly a guardian angel to me that day,” he texted. He said that he was now living with his family in Arizona, but that he would never forget the kindness that Officer Basinger showed him that night.
“You forever changed my life that night,” the man texted.
Officer Basinger took a screenshot of the texts and posted them on Facebook, where they have been shared hundreds of times.
“I’m here to help people,” Basinger told KFVS12. “I’m not here to harass people.”
See KFVS12’s report on Basinger below.
Check out another heartwarming story about someone lending a helping hand.