Texas veteran Lee Hernandez has served 18 years in the Army, including overseas in Iraq. At just 47, Lee is now terminally ill in hospice care. He’s lost much of his ability to speak and he cannot see. Understandably, the poor guy has been struggling emotionally with loneliness and depression.
He asked his wife, Ernestine, to keep his phone handy in case one of his friends called, but no one ever did.
“I guess no one wants to talk to me,” he told her.
“It broke my heart,” Ernestine told Arizona Central. “His speech is not very well, so many people didn’t take much interest or want to talk to him.”
That’s when Ernestine decided to reach out to the community. She posted a request in a Facebook Group called Caregivers of Wounded Warriors asking that other veterans give Lee a call or send him a text so he didn’t feel so isolated.
Then something amazing happened. Not only did texts start pouring in, but the Facebook post went viral. As of two days ago, Lee had received over 70,000 text messages encouraging, comforting, and thanking the Texas veteran for his service.
“A lot of people call to pray with him,” Ernestine said. “It really lifts him up.”
Lee has really had a rough time health-wise. He suffers from recurring strokes, and has undergone several brain surgeries. Tragically, doctors have been unable to solidify a diagnosis, and the veteran is succumbing to his sickness. All his wife can do is keep him as comfortable as possible. Thankfully, with the help of so many, she’s been able to emotionally comfort him as well.
On Friday, Ernestine posted a video of herself and Lee thanking all his supporters.
“Thank you all for your text messages and your phone calls,” he says, “and for thinking of me and supporting me. I appreciate it all.”
The phone number to reach Lee Hernandez is 210-632-6778. Lee is blind, so he wife will read text messages to him.