Thunderbolts pass it forward …

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I was at a store on a Thursday night when I noticed an older woman leaning on a display table.  She didn’t look well, and I asked if she needed assistance.  She said she was fine and left the store.

I checked out and once outside, I noticed the same woman in her car and an Airman at her car door.  I went over and asked if she needed me to call 911.  The Airman had the door open and was talking to her trying to calm her breathing down. 

After several minutes the woman’s breathing seemed not as shallow, and we began to gather information.  She had just come from her doctor’s office and had tried to pick up her prescription in the drive-thru, but the pharmacy technician told her to come into the building and give her signature. 

She started to cry and thanked us for asking about her.  It was about 5:20 p.m. and getting dark, so we asked where she lived and if there was someone we could call.  Her home was on 37th Avenue, about 40 miles away. Her daughter was at work.

I offered to drive her back to her home if the Airman didn’t mind following me.  The Airmen agreed and we helped the woman to the back seat of the car. 

As we drove I found out that she had just had cataract surgery and can’t drive at night. She also has COPD.  When we arrived at her home, the Airman and I helped her into her home and called her daughter.  I left a message as to what had happened and that her mother was safe and at home, about 6:40 p.m. 

The woman was breathing normal, and she gave us a big hug thanking us for being so kind to her. She said she didn’t know how she would have gotten home.  We left our names and phone numbers and offered to call later to make sure she was still doing OK.   

While driving back I found out a little more about the amazing Airman Victoria Colbourne, 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron, her family and her kind heart.  She has been in the Air Force for eight months, and Luke is her first assignment.  She took the time to “pass it forward” and help someone in need. 

Later, the daughter called to thank us for taking good care of her mother and showing such compassion to a complete stranger.