LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - It's an amazing story of family, love and honor from one East Texas soldier to another. A dying Vietnam veteran is in desperate need of a liver transplant and his grandson is stepping in to help.
Rick Homer spent four years in the Marines and 16 in the U.S. Army. He survived the savage fighting in Vietnam, but now the 62-year-old Longview man is dying.
"I found out about it a little over three years ago. I have hemachromatosis, which is genetic. The liver doesn't purify the blood like it supposed to. The only time I've got left is what the good Lord gives me," Homer says.
He could have been on a donor list for years, but his grandson, 21-year-old U.S. Army Specialist Ricky Glenn, came to his rescue.
"The loss and the regret of me not doing anything would have outweighed this. I'm the firstborn grandson I carry my grandfather's name," Glenn says.
Glenn arranged with his commanding officer to be flown back from Afghanistan to Baylor Medical Center to be tested as a match.
If he is determined to be a match, he will donate 60 percent of his own liver to his grandfather.
"I'm so proud. A feeling that my husband and I raised him right. He called me and told me after he had spoken to his commanding officers and told me," says Glenn's mother Mindy Odle.
His family says Glenn's act personifies honor, courage and love.
"One of the doctors tried to talk him out of it, and he said no," Odle says.
But Homer knows only one way to describe it.
"He's my hero! People don't understand what a hero is. until something like this happens," he says.
For Glenn its all about family.
"I don't really see myself as a hero. You do what you do for the ones you love," says Glenn.
If found to be a match , it will be a few weeks before the donation will be made.
Glenn says that he wants his grandfather to get well, so that they can go on a fishing trip together.