Viral post about hitchhiking veteran makes its way to his son

Viral post about hitchhiking veteran makes its way to his son
This photo shows Cullman County and Morgan County deputies with a disabled veteran they helped get to a doctor's appointment in Huntsville. (Source: Morgan County Sheriff's Office)

MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. (WAFF) - An encounter days before Veterans Day is getting a lot of attention on social media.

A picture posted by the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office shows deputies from multiple jurisdictions coming to the assistance of veteran Gerald Baldwin.

After more than 100,000 shares on Facebook, a woman in Oklahoma sent the post to a man named Lance Baldwin, who lives in Pennsylvania.

Baldwin saw the post and quickly realized he recognized the man in the photo.

That man is his dad who he hasn’t talked to in more than five years.

“Helping veterans is a thing that I do myself," said Baldwin. “like reading posts about that and when I came across the picture I was like whoa. I was thrown back a little. Like I said, I haven’t seen my dad in five or six years now.”

No communication, not even Facebook chatting, for more than half a decade.

“I take after my father in a lot more ways. I joined the military because he was in the military. I’m a cable guy by profession because growing up he was a cable guy," Baldwin said.

Baldwin says not speaking with his dad for so many years, was tough.

“I couldn’t bring myself to message him. It’s just a lot of bad blood between us. But I knew his health was declining and he had cancer surgery the last time we spoke. I should’ve been there more," he said.

Baldwin, his wife and two kids have zero relationship with his father.

“I’ve read that post a dozen times over and over again. I still can’t believe they went as far as they did to get him where he needed to be, and then to do it again in reverse to take him back home,” he said. “I’m not a religious person, but somebody was up there watching."

After seeing the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office post, things changed for Baldwin.

“Even more now, after seeing that post and seeing him, I will probably do that here this weekend, is reach out to him,” he said.

Several years have gone by, with zero relationship. But for Baldwin, his father is still his hero.

“He’s a tough old man...He’s always been my superman," Baldwin said.

Baldwin has reached out to his father and is hoping to reconnect with him soon.

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