The family of an 84-year-old man was faced with their worst nightmare when he went missing one evening shortly before Christmas. Thankfully, one person’s intervention saved his story from ending in tragedy.
Lyle Wise, a former Marine and veteran of the Korean War, has dementia. His memory comes and goes.
“He decided he wanted to go Christmas shopping,” his wife, Beverly shared. Despite it being already late in the afternoon, she agreed, knowing how much he enjoys shopping for his family.
Anxious for her husband’s return, Beverly waited. When dinner came and went, however, she realized something was very wrong. With no way to contact her husband, Beverly could only wait.
Hours passed with no word of Wise’s whereabouts. Soon, it was early the next morning, and he still had not returned. Sick with worry, Beverly feared the worst.
Meanwhile, 20 miles away, Collin County Sheriff Deputy Mark Watson was alerted about a possible drunk driver. Arriving on the scene, he found Wise sitting in his car.
Carefully approaching the vehicle, Watson began speaking with the elderly driver. Recognizing the signs of dementia, Watson quickly realized he was not dealing with a drunk driver.
Watson searched the car and found several important papers, including Wise’s home address. Also among the papers? Wise’s decades-old discharge papers from the U.S. Marine Corps.
A former Marine himself, Watson knew he had to get his brother home. “They say once a Marine, always a Marine,” Watson explained. “And that holds true. We are a band of brothers.”
Watson escorted Wise back to his home, where Beverly was overjoyed to find him safe. “I got lost,” he told her.
Although his job ended upon seeing Wise safely home, Watson plans to go further and remain in the couple’s lives. What could have been just a routine assignment in one officer’s night has instead developed into a life-changing bond!
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