Couple reunites homeless veteran with family
January 5, 2019
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (KNXV ) -- What started as a regular day at a Valley grocery store, has led to a life-long friendship.
“We saw him just holding this five dollar bill and just kind of wondering around," said Stephanie Blackbird. "He didn’t look well... He looked lost and I couldn’t walk away, I couldn’t in good conscience walk away without at least checking on this man.”
Stephanie, and her husband Al, met Alan Vandevander at a Whole Foods in North Scottsdale. They helped him get some food, started up a conversation, then parted ways, but the Blackbirds couldn't get the frail homeless man off their minds.
The next morning, they reconnected with him and helped him get to a hospital. Alan was severely malnourished.
“He said I’m glad they found me cause I was in trouble.” said Blackbird.
After getting to know him, the Blackbirds did some digging and found out Alan has quite the story. He served in Vietnam, and was awarded a purple heart, but he had also been missing for 40 years. His family in Indiana had no idea Alan was still alive.
“I started looking for him in 1990 and I kept coming across dead ends," said Alan's sister, Julie Vandevander. She says she last spoke to her brother in the 80's. “I never ever thought I would hear from my brother again.”
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