I picked up the Southtown Star Newspaper today and the cover story was about Eugene Twardy, a World War 2 veteran. Mr. Twardy is 85 years old. At the end of many months, he struggles to make ends meet, often having to choose between buying food and medicine. On many of these months, he asks for donations at the very busy intersection of Pulaski Road and 63rd Street, in Chicago.
As I continued to read the story, I learned that through the years Eugene and his wife, Elaine, raised several children. He worked for most of his life, he earned two Master’s degrees and he came into hard times financially mainly due to medical issues experienced by both he and his wife.
Reading further, I discovered that a Good Samaritan, Edward Sajdak, stopped last fall to give the veteran $10. It seems the two have since struck up a friendship of sorts, with Eugene referring to Edward as his “Santa.”
I admire Eugene for wanting to maintain his independence. I am saddened, however, that a veteran, a man who worked hard his whole life, has to resort to begging for donations to make ends meet. He should not have to choose between food and medicine, nor should he have to beg for money to close that $200 gap at the end of the month.
May God bless Mr. Sajdak, and all of the other folks who take the time to help our veterans. One person can make a difference.
One further note: The article mentioned Mr. Sajdak is a Cook County Deputy Sheriff; turns out he is also my husband’s chief at the Criminal Court House. For those who often have a dim view of our law enforcement professionals, stories like this one about one man helping another prove that anyone can be a hero.
Do you know someone else who has helped one of our heroes? Send us your story by filling out the form on the “Contact Us” page!