The Heartbreaking Reason This 81-Year-Old Veteran Called 911

An 81-year-old veteran called 911 for help on Tuesday, but not for the kind of emergency you'd think.

"What I need is someone to get to the grocery store and bring me some food because I need to eat something," Clarence Blackmon told the operator. "Whatever you can do to help. I can't do anything. I can't go anywhere. I can't get out of my damn chair," an ABC affiliate reports.

Blackmon, a Fayetteville, N.C., resident, was just released from a hospital and rehab facility where he was getting treatment for cancer. He returned home to find an empty refrigerator and no one around to help. So, he turned to the police.
Luckily, operator Marilyn Hinson had a heart. "He was hungry; I've been hungry," Hinson told WTVD. She took down his grocery list (cabbage, two bananas, a can of beets, a can of green beans, tomato juice, ham, popcorn, and three Pepsis), grabbed two police officers, and delivered the food personally to his door.

At 115 pounds and battling prostate cancer, Blackmon needed all the help he could get. "It was like a little miracle," he said of the experience, and donations have poured forth from good samaritans who heard his story. Yet, the question of how this could happened — particularly to a U.S. veteran — was left unanswered. 

According to ABC11, Blackmon will soon have a home health nurse to check on him twice a week. Department of Social Services officials have also taken action, saying that they were only aware of his situation after ABC11 reached out. "The private rehab center that discharged Blackmon failed to notify DSS officials that he was going home," ABC 11 reports, and a social worker saw Blackmon Wednesday to take care of his needs.

Blackmon, in the meantime, has given all the donations to the Salvation Army. "I want everyone that goes hungry, or lives under a bridge, at least they can go to the Salvation Army," he told ABC11. 

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