Fort Wayne firemen help 93-year-old WWII vet dig out after snow storm

Capt.: 'It's just what we do.'

FORT WAYNE, Ind. - A group of Fort Wayne firefighters are an Internet sensation thanks to their generosity.

A few weeks ago, 93-year-old World War II veteran Robert Slack collapsed from fatigue while clearing snow from his driveway.

"We found him at the end of his driveway, not in great shape," neighbor Heather Eracleous told Eryn Rogers with WANE-TV in Fort Wayne.

So when Eracleous saw the heavy snow this week, she immediately thought of Slack.

"When I woke up this morning and saw how much snow there was, my first thought actually was my neighbor, and 'Oh my gosh, how am I going to get over there and plow him out?'" she said.

A few minutes later, Eracleous saw a familiar sight.

"A fire truck pulls up, and I thought, 'Oh geez, he went out and did it again,'" she said.

It was the same fire crew that helped Slack after he collapsed, and they were coming back to give him a hand.

"(We) knew that we got a lot of snow, knew that he was a pretty proud guy and more than capable, but we were out and we just wanted to stop and help him," said Capt. Russ McCurdy.

Shoveling the driveway would've taken Slack more than an hour, but firefighters were able to do it in around 10 minutes.

Eracleous says the good deed could've been lifesaving.

"If he had gone out to do it, it could've ended with the fire department showing up in a much worse capacity," she said.

"I'm just glad we got there, and it wasn't done yet," McCurdy said. "I'm glad that we were able to do it for him. We stopped and helped Mr. Slack because he's a veteran, and I think that's the least he deserves."

Eracleous snapped a photo just to share the good deed with her Facebook friends, and in hours it went viral.

"They don't expect any kind of kudos or thanks or even a pat on the back," she said of the fire crew.

"It's just what we do," McCurdy said. "We just go out and help, and if we can make that connection with one or two people and make their day better, that's really what it's about."

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