Hand It On: Captain Willie Matthews, Jr.

Hand It On: Captain Willie Matthews, Jr.

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - This story is one that could be told of probably hundreds of people across our area. It's one of survival. It's one of compassion. It's one of what really matters in life – helping each other cope.

You've seen his story on WAFB. The story of Willie Matthews, Jr. or "Captain Willie" as he is referred to now.

Like many of you, Captain Willie's home flooded in August. On the day the water rose and destroyed everything he and his wife knew, their entire lives, Captain Willie struck out to help rescue others in his boat. He tells the story from here:

When I left the house Saturday afternoon , it was dry over there. One of my friends called me and said her brother was over there. So we called him and ask him if he wanted to leave. And he said no. But he called back later and said, "Yeah, I think I'd better leave because the water's getting up." So I went and got my boat. And I went and loaded the boat, and when I got back over there, somebody else had rescued him.

I met Captain Willie at the hotel where he has been staying since the flood. It was a rather nice morning, sunshine and cooler than most. So Captain Willie was sitting outside in a lawn chair, drinking coffee and reading his bible.

I asked Captain Willie if he had enough money to get a new truck.

"Not really." He replied. "My wife is actually looking at vehicles right now as a matter of fact."

That's when I surprised Captain Willie with our Hand It On gift.

"Well WAFB's Hand It On program wants to give you $300 so that you can start getting money for a new truck."

"Thank you so much!" he said, noticeably surprised. "You just made my morning real good. And I'll tell you, I thank God that, you know, I was there at the right time to be able to help. Because when it's all said and done we need to understand that we all need each other. People think that they don't need nobody. But that's not true. We all need each other. Because without each other, how can we make it?"

Do you believe in angels on earth? I certainly do; I met one today. His name is "Captain" Willie Matthews, Jr.

To nominate someone for WAFB's Hand It On program, send an e-mail to HandItOn@wafb.com. Make sure to include your contact information, especially your phone number.

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