WASHINGTON, April 12 -
Mr. Speaker, WWII veteran Elbert Wood, 93 years old, returned home from a doctor visit only to find that his home had been broken into and vandalized. A couple of teenagers had nothing better to do than to spray paint and burglarize the home that Elbert built himself more than 55 years ago. I didn't have the chance to see the damage in-person, but from what I saw in videos, everything in his home was covered in graffiti, including the walls, windows, the TV, even the furniture. Of course, when Elbert saw the damage, devastation set in, but not for too long. Soon, Elbert was reminded that in times of trouble, he could always count on his family. And by family, I mean the ones that share the forever military bond.
A band of Marines quickly made their way to Elbert's home when they heard what had happened. They wanted to let him know that they were there for him in times of need. On that day and the days to follow, the Marines lent their helping hands and cleaned up the vandalism and made necessary repairs. They were determined to recreate the same image that Elbert envisioned when he thought of ``home'' before the incident.
The support Elbert received during that time was not limited to that of the Marines. Members of the community stepped up to help him, too. One furniture store even donated a new living room set. This is what I call a tight community. As for the suspects, they were caught red-handed, literally, just down the street from Elbert's home. Two teenagers were caught with red paint residue all over their hands and with stolen items from Elbert's home. I hope they have a lot of time to think about their crime in the do-right hotel.
Battlegrounds aren't the only places Marines or members of the military look out for each other, Mr. Speaker. The brotherhood and sisterhood of the military extends beyond the battlegrounds and into everyday life. Today, I would like to recognize these fellow Marines that so generously helped their brother out in a time of trouble. America is a better and safer place because of people like them, including Elbert. And that's just the way it is.