JACKSON COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - Lewis Ross is a retired Vietnam War veteran who has had a string of bad luck over the years.
The 69-year-old has been robbed several times, gone hungry on multiple occasions, and worst of all he's been alone.
"I thought everybody had forgot about me," said Ross. "I was down here by myself."
Ross has lived in a rundown trailer for several years. Because he's had his air conditioner stolen, he's been dealing with the heat.
"I put a shirt on and in just minutes it just dampens in sweat," said Ross.
His home has also been overrun with mosquitoes.
"When some of them bite, it just like someone is touching you with a red hot cigarette," said Ross. "Man it hurts!"
Now at 154 pounds, he's removed mirrors from his home because he can't bear to look at how small he's gotten from hunger.
"I had solved the problem of being hungry," said Ross. "You get really hungry if you don't eat. I can tell myself I wasn't hungry."
In addition to the physical turmoil his body has gone through, he's had two trucks and a boat stolen. He has also watched his Jeep burn down because he has no running water, and just recently someone stole his first ever plasma TV.
"That was the only new TV I had ever bought, ever all these years," said Ross.
Ever since he was a 9-year-old boy, he's known that if he has no family, no friends, or anybody else that could help him, he's got the love of law enforcement.
"My dad told me a lot of police officers, he said they are all my friends," said Ross. "Every one of them."
Sergeant Carl Schlotzhauer with the Jackson County Sheriff's Department responded to Ross's call to the police about his stolen TV Wednesday.
"The more he talked the more down he got and I thought he was going to start crying for a minute," said Schlotzhauer. "It just tugged on my heart strings you know."
According to Schlotzhauer, when he arrived at the home, it was extremely hot inside.
After hearing what all Ross had gone through, Schlotzhauer worked to get him a new air conditioner, TV, food and water donations.
Now he's helping him fill out apartment applications to get him into a better place to live.
"I was a little aggravated because someone did that to him and I put up a little Facebook post and asked for some help," said Schlotzhauer. "I got a bigger response than what I expected and was a little overwhelmed, but he's pretty much taken care of now."
Ross said he is forever grateful for all of the help he's received.
"When I see police officers, those are my friends," said Ross. "I wave at every one of them."
He said he hopes the love he has for law enforcement could inspire others to love and respect them just as much.
"I want them to know that they are putting their life on the line every day for us," said Ross. "Some of us appreciate and know what they are doing."
Ross said he would love it if people would recognize law enforcement as good people and not the enemy.
He also said he is very grateful to feel loved and supported by his community now all thanks to Sergeant Carl Schlotzhauer.
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