Community Raises $12K To Help Vet Scammed Out Of Retirement Funds
Thanks to the kindness of strangers, a veteran says he can trust people again.
Floyd Smith has seen a lot in his day. He's a 92-year-old World War II veteran who served in the navy as the war was coming to a close and saw the terrible human toll.
"I went to Nagasaki and Hiroshima and Tokyo and all those places where the bombs dropped, he told ABC 30 . You could still see their shadow etched in the concrete."
Unfortunately, Smith had a spell of bad luck a few years ago when he met a man he thought he could trust. In 2015, he met Mark Glazier, who befriended him and helped him get windows for a new home. When Glazier told Smith he had fallen on hard times, Smith agreed to loan him $10,000, money taken from his own retirement fund. Glazier never paid the money back.
"He said he's in real financial trouble and he needs $10,000," Smith said. "The money that I loaned him was money I set aside for my retirement. And we planned to do a little traveling."
The we Smith is referring to is him and his new wife his first wife passed away many years ago, and he never got to take a honeymoon with his new wife.
"I feel like he just really took unfair advantage of me," Smith said.
After Smith filed a claim in small claims court, a judge in Fresno ruled that Glazier (pictured below) had to pay $7,630 to Smith, but he still hasn't paid. Meanwhile, photos started popping up on social media of Glazier taking international vacations, seemingly using the funds give to him by Smith.
A warrant was issued for Glazier's arrest and police have since arrested him in on charges of drug possession, but he was released and later fled to avoid appearing in court as a result of the charges.
Fred Meine, the attorney who represented Smith pro-bono, started a GoFundMe page to help the man recoup some of his losses.
Floyd Smith is an American hero, and this is your chance to help him out, he wrote. With your help, we can help Floyd get back to where he would have been had Gleizer not taken advantage of Floyd's kindness.
According to an update posted by Meine (pictured with Smith below) last week, over 345 people donated enough money to pay Smith back the full amount that he lost.
Smith was presented with a check on Christmas Eve for $12,472.60 along with a new, high-end hearing aid from a local facility and a free weekend stay in the coastal town of Cayucos.Reporters from ABC affiliate KFSN in Fresno were there to capture the sweet moment.
As Smith beamed with his wife by his side, he said he doesn't take it for granted that he got a second chance. He actually broke into song to show his gratitude.
"Smile, and the world smiles with you," he sang. "Cry, and you cry alone."
It just goes to show that while nobody alone could have paid back the $10K the man was owed, when a group of individuals give what they can (even if it's just a few dollars), the results can be amazing.
While the fundraiser for Smith is over, you can support vets like him by contributing to organizations like Lifeline for Veterans or the Wounded Warrior Project . You can also volunteer your time at a veteran's center near you .
Let's #StartSomethingGood together.
(Source: images KFSN-TV )