Police help stranded soldier visit dying grandmother

Published 6:33 pm Tuesday, February 28, 2012

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

A pair of Alabaster police officers recently helped a U.S. Army soldier who was home on a four-day leave repair his broken-down vehicle and travel to Illinois to visit his dying grandmother.


During the evening hours of Sunday, Feb. 19, Alabaster police officer Tim Crocker noticed a man stranded near the 238 mile marker of Interstate 65 with a broken-down truck, according to Alabaster police Cpl. Brandon Green.

After Crocker spoke with the stranded motorist, he learned the man was on a four-day leave to visit his sick grandmother in Illinois, according to Green.


“Officer Crocker was advised that the soldier’s grandmother might not make it through the night,” Green wrote in an email to Alabaster Police Chief Stanley Oliver.

Coker and officer Matt Davis then examined the man’s truck and determined what was wrong with it, but were unable to find an automotive parts store open on a Sunday night.

“Officer Crocker and Davis took the initiative and made some phone calls and found the parts in various locations and local wrecker services,” Green wrote in the email. “Officer Crocker and Davis then helped the solider get his truck running and on his way at no cost to him.”

Oliver said the officers were willing to do whatever necessary to help the soldier travel to Illinois.

“I saw the email the next day, and I asked them ‘What were you going to do if you weren’t able to find the parts to fix his truck?’” Oliver said. “He (Crocker) said ‘I was going to load him in my truck and take him to Illinois if I had to. He had to get up there because his granny was dying.’”

Oliver said the officers went “above and beyond the call of duty,” and said helping the soldier fix his vehicle was a “very commendable thing for them to do.”

“They didn’t have to do any of that. I think it speaks volumes about the caliber of our guys,” Oliver said. “They were gong to get him to Illinois one way or another.”