In the true holiday spirit, a Florida Highway Patrol trooper helped a stranded South Florida visitor get home by personally, and anonymously, paying for his bus ticket.
The young man from Georgia was visiting South Florida the weekend of Dec. 6 when the trip went sour. The man said he was left stranded with no cell phone, no wallet and no help from family or friends.
The man said he walked for hours through the streets of South Florida dragging his luggage. The man had little more than $20 to his name.
He finally ended up at the Greyhound bus station, located at 16000 Northwest 7th Avenue, where he happened upon FHP Trooper Terence Hicks.
"He told me that he only had $20 to his name, that his wallet was stolen. I took it upon my heart to assist him," Trooper Hicks said.
The traveler explained his desperate situation and, without hesitation, Hicks reached into his wallet, and his heart, and gave the man $120 to purchase a bus ticket home.
The man said Hicks would not give him his name, but told him that if the roles were reversed and he found himself stranded in Georgia, he would want someone to help him get back to Miami.
The kind gesture would not remain anonymous for long, as the traveler penned a heartfelt letter and sent it to FHP.
In it, he called Hicks a "true American hero" and a "great human being."
"It bought me to tears because when the people I depended on the most let me down, God still made a way," the man wrote. "I have never met anyone in my 25 year lifetime that could Care so much about another human beings wellbeing enough that they would do that for me."
"I just want to thank him for not only helping me home, but for changing my heart towards people, and making me believe in law enforcement," the man wrote.
He concluded his letter with the words, "Thank you thank you thank you, to a true American hero........ From a grateful American!"
By providing a detailed physical description of Hicks, along with his age and the exact date and time they'd encountered one another at the station, FHP was able to identify Hicks as the trooper behind the compassionate gesture.
In a statement, FHP said that through his actions, Hicks displayed "one of the most important qualifies a police officer must have, compassion."