As the immigration debate intensifies, the death of Corporal Ronil Singh, the California police officer who was gunned down by an illegal immigrant in December, is a sore spot for many.
As tensions flare over immigration reform, a little-known but heartwarming story of how Americans rallied together to support Singh’s grieving widow is exactly what we need right now.
Anamika Singh knew in the back of her mind, like every wife of an officer or serviceman, that the day might come when her husband wouldn’t come home from work. And, just hours after celebrating Christmas with him and their precious baby boy, that day came.
On December 26th, Cpl. Singh was shot during a routine traffic stop by Gustavo Perez Arriaga and died on the scene at just 33 years of age.
What would his wife and five-month-old son do now? It’s life-shattering enough to lose your spouse, your soulmate, especially in such a heartbreaking way. The financial uncertainty that comes with losing your husband, the proud provider of your family, is just salt in the wound.
That’s where the Tunnel To Towers Foundation (T2T) steps in. The foundation was started by Frank Siller who named it for Stephen Siller, his brother, a fallen 9/11 firefighter.
According to their website, T2T seeks to “honor our military and first responders who continue to make the supreme sacrifice of life and limb for our country.” Through their Fallen First Responder Home program, this incredible charity provides “a support system for the surviving family and ensure that they are cared for.”
When Frank Siller highlighted Singh’s T2T fundraiser in an interview on ‘Fox And Friends’, thousands of the show’s viewers showed up in a big way to come to Anamika’s aid, raising $350,000 in just a matter of days.
Fox News Insider reported that the $300,000 goal was intended to pay off the Singh family’s mortgage, while the excess $50,000 raised will be put away for “educational opportunities” for their baby boy.
“I couldn’t be more grateful to your viewers that we’ve been able to raise all this money and relieve that burden for this great family,” Siller said in a follow-up appearance on Fox And Friends. “It makes a big difference,” Siller said. “We can help [the family of every fallen] police officer and firefighter and Gold Star family in America if most of your viewers sign up.”
More than just donating one time to the Singh family, he revealed that masses of viewers pledged to donate $11 monthly to the foundation, meaning many more families of police officers, firefighters, and military members will be supported in the wake of the immense sacrifices they’ve made to our nation.
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Former Green Beret Sentenced To A Night In Jail, But What The Judge Does Next Will Blow You Away
Judge Lou Olivera doesn’t have an easy job.
Sure, it’s great to be the one to hand down justice to an unrepentant criminal or someone who poses a serious danger to society. Still, judges have hearts like anyone else and there are just as many instances where a judge like Olivera is forced to sentence someone they truly wish they could help.
Olivera, district court judge over the Veterans Treatment Court in Cumberland County, North Carolina, showed the world his kind heart after he was forced to sentence former Green Beret Joe Serna for probation violation.
As a Gulf War veteran, Olivera is no stranger to the life-altering experience of combat. He’s seen plenty, placing him in a unique position to serve both his community and his fellow servicemen as a judge.
When Serna’s case came before him, Olivera was deeply moved.
Serna, a three-tour veteran of the war in Afghanistan and two-time Purple Heart recipient, is one of the innumerable veterans who find themselves suffering from PTSD and unable to cope back home.
For many veterans like Serna, alcohol or drugs seem to be waiting with open arms, offering false comfort and sending them on a downward spiral of self-destruction. The Veterans Treatment Court exists to serve veterans fighting this kind of battle, and it became Judge Olivera’s mission to make a difference in Serna’s life.
Serna was arrested for drunk driving a few years before this court date. One condition of his probation was that he was strictly prohibited from drinking alcohol. But when Serna lied about a recent urine test, Olivera couldn’t just let it slide.
“I gave Joe a night in jail because he had to be held accountable,” Olivera recounted to CBS.
Later on, when Serna entered his cell for the night, terrible memories came flooding back into his mind, memories of the event that sparked his PTSD.
“When I walked into the jail cell, and they closed the door behind me, I started feeling this anxiety,” Serna said. “It came back—a flashback.”
As an Army Sargent First Class, Serna survived an IED and a suicide bomber during his time in Afghanistan, but that wasn’t the event that shook him. Instead, it was a simple truck ride with three other men in his company that proved to be the most horrific event of his life.
“We were following the creek and the road gave way,” Serna recalled, tearfully, “And the vehicle went into the creek.”
As the water began rising in the truck, Serna found himself stuck and totally unable to move. The water rose up to his chin before finally subsiding and, tragically, he was the only one to leave that truck alive. Because of this incident, Serna not only suffers from PTSD, but extreme claustrophobia.
Judge Olivera, however, wasn’t finished with Serna. “I knew what Joe was going through and I knew Joe’s history. And he had to be held accountable,” Olivera said, “but I just felt I had to go with him. I felt I had to go with him.”
Within a few minutes of being locked up, Serna received the surprise of a lifetime when Judge Olivera walked through the door to join him for the night.
“We talked about our families,” Serna said, smiling. “The walls didn’t exist anymore. He brought me back to North Carolina from being in a truck in Afghanistan.”
“He is a judge, but that night, he was my battle buddy,” Serna said. “He knew what I was going through. As a warrior, he connected.”
And, just like that, Olivera, who saw his brother-in-arms struggling, lifted him up and carried him through the night, and hopefully sparked a change leading to a brighter future for Serna.
WATCH: A Group of Strangers Work Together to Save Puppies From Pet Store Inferno
The incredible lengths even a stranger off the street will go to in order to save a life, even when their efforts may put their own lives at risk, never cease to amaze.
When a fire broke out at Puppy Love, a pet store in Danbury, Connecticut, 86 terrified puppies were trapped in the blaze.
According to San Antonio Express-News, the call came in around 9 pm that the building had caught fire, and firefighters arrived on the scene in just two minutes. A second alarm was called in right away, but the firefighters knew they had to act quickly to rescue the animals inside.
“Chief, we gotta get the animals out,” one firefighter was overheard saying.
That’s when concerned members of the Danbury community started coming out of the woodwork to help rescue the howling dogs inside Puppy Love.
Civilians stopped their cars in the street, diners at neighboring restaurants got up from their seats, and even the manager of a nearby bar ran to the scene to break into the building and start pulling out crates containing the helpless, whimpering pups.
Even with brave citizens boldly smashing windows to rescue dogs in their crates, the sheer volume of animals inside forced them to come up with another plan.
With the heaviest flames still at the back of the building, the incredible crew of firefighters and civilians quickly formed a “human chain” to pull the dogs out of the building, Deputy Fire Chief Steve Williams said.
Thanks to their bravery, all 86 dogs and puppies were safely evacuated from the building and no injuries to animal or human were reported.
Sean Silverman, who co-owns Puppy Love with his wife, Nancy, revealed that the fire originated at a pole barn behind the store owned by a local utility company.
The Silvermans made their immense gratitude to the community who rallied behind them known in a recent Facebook post.
“We want to thank all of the Danbury Fire Department, City of Danbury Police Department, many veterinarian staff of Noah’s Ark Animal Hospital and South Salem Animal Hospital, staff of Stanziato’s Wood Fired Pizza and the whole community of Danbury and beyond for reaching out and helping the Puppy Love family!”
“All of our puppies are safe, warm and happily ate an extra dinner tonight,” they continued. “Stanziatos was kind enough to open their doors to us so our puppies have temporary housing while our store can be cleaned and be put back to order.”
This fire could have been a heartrending tragedy, but thank goodness for the brave firefighters and civilians who risked their own lives to give this story a happy ending.
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