It is a beautiful thing when people in a community come together to show respect and honor to veterans and those who serve in the military. As for an entire neighborhood in Minnesota, they eagerly came together to give support to their 95-year-old neighbor, Harvey Djerf.
Harvey is a retired biology teacher and World War Two veteran who enjoys taking daily walks in his neighborhood. He has been taking two walks a day on the same route for the past 65 years. He really enjoys his walks and usually takes them first thing in the morning and later in the afternoon. Determined to keep up with his mile-long routine, he continues his walks through the neighborhood even though he gets tired quickly.
His neighbors began to notice that he needed to stop more often to rest and take a breath. So, they began to leave out lawn chairs for him on their porches or in their yard. Every few hundred feet, neighbors have left lawn chairs for Harvey to sit and take a break.
“As I got older I stop and rest more often and the neighbors have noticed”, Harvey told CBS.
“We were looking out there one day and noticed there’s no chairs on our entire street here, so we put one out for him”, Melanie Heuerman, one of Harvey’s neighbors told ABC.
The neighbors even keep the chairs out for Harvey during the winter because Harvey goes on his walks all year long. They shovel the snow out of the way so that he would have no problem getting to his chair.
“We wanted him to honor us with his presence”, Tom Heuerman, another neighbor said to Kare11. “It’s kind of status symbol in the neighborhood to have a chair out for Harvey”.
While on his walks, Harvey would sit in a chair for a few minutes, chat with his neighbors when they see him, and then continue on his way. Neighbors feel honored when Harvey sits in their yard. It is as if he is the neighborhood celebrity. Some neighbors await the moment to bring him cookies and engage in conversation
Harvey even enjoys the company especially his wife of 69 years was sent to a nursing home after recently having a stroke. His neighbors really help Harvey get through the loneliness of not having his wife at home with him anymore. His neighbors became great companions. He even goes out to dinner with them sometimes.
“It’s a wonderful experience. I get to know the neighbors and they get to know me”, Harvey says.
Harvey is thankful for his neighborhood friends. Their small gesture made a huge difference for him. He hopes that their example will inspire others to come together to display kindness to other veterans in their communities.
“Maybe other neighbors will be encouraged to do things like my neighbors have done for me”, he says.
WATCH: How Neighbors Show Support To WW2 Veteran
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