First Responders Spotlight: Deputies rebuild Penfield veteran’s smashed mailbox

First Responders Spotlight

PENFIELD, N.Y. (WROC) — In July, a Vietnam veteran that resides in Rochester woke up to his mailbox completely smashed, presumably by a car.

Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputy Andrew Reale responded to the scene. 

“Well, actually it touched my heart. When I got there and responded, his mailbox was down and he came out in tears,” Reale said.

Reale says the veteran had no idea how he was going to fix the mailbox, or how he was going to pay for it. Deputy Todd Thurston was also there. 

“The gentleman was going through some hardships, some recent losses, so it touched me in the same way,” Thurston said.

Reale and Thurston decided to help the veteran rebuild his mailbox — and pay for it. “It was probably well over $100 dollars,” Reale said.

While shopping for supplies at the Home Depot, some of the workers knew the deputies. The Home Depot staff decided to provide the needed items for free. The muscle and elbow grease, provided by the deputies.

“We just know how to do it, a sledgehammer, some digging, and that was about it,” Thurston said. It took about two hours to accomplish.

Captain Scott Alberti works with the duo. “They just went above and beyond. All our folks have great hearts. And this is probably just one glimpse of what they do on a daily basis,” Alberti said.

Bill Gray’s giving the pair a bag of goodies and hoping to see them both soon. This act, a prime example of law enforcement extending a hand out into the community to further strengthen relations. 

“It’s something we try to do, we enjoy trying to bridge that gap between us and the community and make things better,” Thurston said.

The sheriff’s office did say the person who struck the mailbox came forward and accepted responsibility. 

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