By Scott Halasz
XENIA — Christmas came a few weeks early for a Xenia Army veteran.
Paul Adams, who served in Vietnam from 1970-71, unexpectedly received a new television and cash Friday from several residents who were moved by Adams’ 24-year military service. Adams’ TV broke and he had not planned to purchase a new one anytime soon.
“This is awesome,” he said to those responsible.
Adams, 78, met Xenia native Ryan Crockett at Willie’s Sports Bar last week when both were there to watch the Ohio State-Michigan football game.
“He came over and talked,” Crockett said. “He said ‘I’m just here to watch the game because my TV is broke.’”
Crockett asked Adams if he had plans to shop on Black Friday and Adams said he wasn’t because of parking lot shootings and other shenanigans on the year’s biggest shopping day.
“Americans over there (in Vietnam) only shot their enemies,” Adams said, according to Crockett.
Crockett snapped a selfie with Adams and made a post on Facebook about their conversation. Donations and offers starting flowing in and Crockett — who teared up telling Adams the good news — was able to purchase a 50-inch HD flatscreen.
“There were some people that (contacted me) that I had no idea who they were,” Crockett said.
The TV and money were presented at Lighthouse Baptist Church, with the help of Assistant Pastor Eric Woodworth.
“It’s amazing,” Adams said, shortly before dabbing tears out of his eyes with a handkerchief. “I really don’t know what to say. I am so grateful.”
Adams then teared up again.
“I’ve had quite a few sad Christmases since my wife passed away in 2012,” he said. “This is going to be a merry Christmas now.”
It’s not going to stop there for Adams, however. While telling stories about his time in the Army, Adams used the term “brothering,” saying everyone should treat others like brothers and “pass it forward.”
Adams is going to do just that.
“It’s got nothing to do with this, but I’ve already got plans to help people out with Christmas,” he said. “This is what Jesus wants you to do.”
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.