Korean War veteran no longer in the dark

June 27, 2008 2:37:01 PM PDT
A Korean War veteran was forced to live by candlelight for two years, and was unable to cook his own food, all because he couldn't afford to pay for much-needed repairs.It's a beautiful, bright sunny day as Emit Schuyler comes home, but inside his house of 60 years, it's like a cave. And, living in the dark reminds this 80 year disabled war veteran of nights in Korea.

"We couldn't have no type of light -- not even to strike a match -- because the enemy would pick up it and destroy you," Schuyler recalled.

Schuyler has been forced to live by candle light for two years. He can't even cook in his home.

He said, ''My neighbors they would fix my food, and sometimes I'd go up to the church and get commodities."

Schuyler went away for awhile, and during the time he was gone, a tree cutting service clipped limbs that were hanging over electric wires in the neighborhood. They knocked down a big branch that fell against his house, ripping down the breaker box and electric meter.

"They promised they were going to fix it, but never did" said Schuyler.

He didn't have the $1,400 needed for repairs, so he was left in the dark.

Neighbors Arthur Poydres and Costella Obryant wanted help for their forgotten neighbor.

"It's not his fault," said Poydres. "He wasn't around when that happened."

"I felt sorry. I said, 'Oh, Lord, I've got to help this man. I've got to do something. I've got to call someone to get some help,'" cried Obryant.

Schuyler's friends and neighbors called us and we spoke with the 'angels' at Adult Protective Services, which is a state run agency that looks out for the elderly and disabled.

APS specialist Yolanda Simien said, "We were able to get emergency client funds just to help assist him with just getting the electricity turned on so he could live normally."

Adult Protective Services can also provide groceries, pay bills such as rent and utilities and of course, check on reports of abuse or neglect of the elderly.

Thanks to his angels, Schuyler has a new electric box, meter and finally, he has light.

"This is one remarkable thing that you all can do for any poor person," he said.

Mary Breaux of APS likes that they can help.

"It's a really good feeling when we can get resources for them to make their lives better," she said.

If you know of an elderly or disabled person in a similar situation, you can call Adult Protective Services at 1-800-252-5400.

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