ONLY ON 13: World War II vet injured in crash brought back to Houston

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World War II vet injured in crash brought back to Houston, Lauren Lea reports. (KTRK)

A World War II veteran critically hurt in a west Texas car accident was flown home Thursday thanks to the help of abc13 viewers.

Roy Kruft, 91, suffered a broken neck and back in a rollover car accident in San Angelo and a special air ambulance was the only way to get him to a rehab facility in Tomball, but those come with a hefty price tag. His daughter, Donna Cox, shared his story Wednesday and within minutes, people started calling her wanting to contribute to get him home.

"We feel like it's Christmas today because grandpa's coming home," she said Thursday evening, while eagerly awaiting his arrival at Hooks Airport.

Kruft was trained to drive the landing craft that landed the Marines on Iwo Jima, after dropping out of Waller High School to join the service. He was always willing to give back to the community. Now, in his time of need, his community contributed almost enough money to cover the $12,200 cost to fly him home.

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"All we can do is say thank you I was saying we're gonna have to bake or you know have a barbecue for all these people because they are just so near and dear to our hearts now," she said.

Cox believes it's not strangers who helped fly Kruft home, just friends they haven't met yet.

"The love they have for my daddy, having never met him, we know why we love him, but all of these other people just offering to help this remarkable, wonderful man is just overwhelming," she said.

His flight arrived almost on time at Hooks, with Cox and two of his granddaughters there to greet him. With months of recovery ahead of him, they hope Kruft will be home for Christmas.
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