WWII Veteran Lost Everything When The House Burned Down But Then Strangers Stepped In

the house burned down

One World War II Veteran lost nearly all of his belongings when his house burned down. But with the help of neighbors, friends, and appreciative strangers, he's been able to stay in the community he's called home for over 50 years!

94-year-old Paul Roberts served with the occupation forces of the Marines in Nagasaki, Japan, after the atomic bombing of that city ended WWII. Paul has lost two children. Though eventually restored, his home was flooded by Hurricane Sandy in 2007.

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Like every person blessed to have reached an advanced age, Paul has known sadness and grief. But, even in his most recent time of loss, Paul exhibits a spirit of contentment and good humor.

The House Of WWII Veteran Burned Down

One evening as Paul prepared for bed, his home caught on fire. As Paul opened the door from his bathroom, he noticed everything was black. Initially, he thought the lights had gone out. But as soon as he took a breath, he knew his home was ablaze. He dropped to the ground and crawled out the back door.

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The house burned down and few of Paul's possessions survived the fire. And, within just a few days, the city informed Paul that he would not be able to repair what remained of his house; so much of the old home did not meet current building standards. What stood had to be torn down.

Paul's Ship Bottom, New Jersey neighbors, set up a GoFundMe page to raise money. They hope to raise enough to support Paul for his final days and make it possible for him to spend those days in the place he loves so much. Thus far, $157,000 has been raised for Paul! Contributions have come in from all across the country after the veteran’s house burned down. Fellow Marines and many others were moved by Paul's story and wanted to help in whatever way possible.

Getting Back On His Feet

Paul is now living in a small apartment, and he's doing well. He's seen a lot in his 94 years, but even nonagenarians can experience and learn new things. “There’s a lot of good people in this world, I found out. I don’t know what I would have done without them,” Paul told WTVD.

Neighbors describe Paul on the GoFundMe page, saying that he is extremely positive. "He says, "Well, I wake up every morning, I can either be happy or not. I might as well decide to be happy."" This humble, happy gentleman has clearly blessed those he's known and his Ship Bottom community. In his time of need, they were eager likewise to bless him!

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"Everyone comes naked from their mother's womb, and as everyone comes, so they depart. They take nothing from their toil that they can carry in their hands." Ecclesiastes 5:15

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h/t: People

Featured Image Credit: Youtube/TODAY