A police officer in Eugene, Oregon, helped a former Marine and his family find temporary housing after discovering them sleeping in their car.
According to reports, Robert Wood and his family relocated from Alaska to Eugene, Oregon, but upon arriving in the Pacific Northwest, they still hadn’t found a place to live. Afraid he might run out of money, Wood and his wife decided to sleep in their car in a park’s parking lot with their two young children instead of spending money on a hotel.
While the family was in the car, however, a police officer approached their vehicle and told them they couldn’t stay there because the park was closed. When Wood explained their situation, he couldn’t believe the officer’s generous response.
“He walked over and I asked what I could do for him and if there was a problem,” Wood explained in a viral Facebook post. “He told me the park closed at 11pm and that I couldn't stay there. I had my 4 year old curled up sleeping on my lap and my 2 year old was sleeping on my wife's lap in the passenger seat. When he saw the kids he told me that he was going to buy us a hotel room. I told him that I didn't want that and that I had money in the bank and would feel guilty taking his charity. I told him we just got off the road from Alaska and we're still looking for a place to rent. He told me he'd like to do it anyways and that the police department had a fund just for situations like this."
“I told him that I appreciated his kindness but that I would rather not,” Wood continued in the post. “I told him that I was a former marine trying to take care of my own business and not looking for welfare. He told me he was a marine as well. After talking for a minute it turns out we were both in the same unit, he about 10 years before me. We both spent time in Okinawa, and other places in Asia and through conversation discovered we had done a lot of same things in the Marine Corps. He told me to follow him, so I did, and he took us to a nice hotel and paid for a couple nights out of his own pocket. Holy loving lucky stars. I got tears in my eyes.”
The officer, Lt. David Natt, dismisses the accolades he’s received since Wood’s post went viral and says that he knows he was just doing the right thing.
“I saw the kid on his chest and a kid on her chest," Natt told KMTR. "And this was a cold night. Any of us could be right where they're at. It doesn't take much. And like I told him, you give him an opportunity to gain a bit of time. A little bit of time is so valuable, and it's so meaningful to them."
From the looks of Wood’s Facebook page, it appears the family finally found a house to live in. Still, it’s safe to say they’ll never forget the actions of Lt. Natt, and in his original Facebook post, the thankful father had a message to those who don’t like police officers.
“Don't hate on the police,” Wood wrote. “They are there for you when you need them. There are bad characters in all walks of life, but never believe that the police are there to hurt you. Those men and women who choose to wear body armor and help people do so with good courageous hearts.”