Sheriff, community helps veteran replace mailbox

Martin: 'We never lack of community members willing to help'

BRANCH — A little kindness goes a long way, as World War II veteran William Zwiegle, from the Branch area, experienced last week, thanks to the community members who responded to the need to replace his mailbox.

Zwiegle's mailbox was run over and destroyed, and he was unable to receive his mail until it was repaired. 

"I received a call last Monday from William Zwiegle, who was concerned that someone lost control and took out his mailbox," Lake County Sheriff Rich Martin said. "He was under the presumption that the people would put a (new) mailbox up for him. While we were speaking, I learned he was a 96-year-old WWII veteran who gets his medicine shipped to his mailbox." 

Martin contacted a few people from the community — Howard Campbell, with the Manistee Forest ORV Club, and Pleasant Plains Fire Chief Chad Schaap — to go with him to check it out. 

"On Wednesday we installed a new post and mail box and pulled out the old one, which was too bent to be reinstalled," Martin said. "It was difficult with the frozen ground, but we had a new mailbox installed in about an hour. Peacock LTD donated the supplies, allowing them to use their account at ACE Hardware. 

"At the end of the day, this is a good example of the community coming together when someone is in need," he said. "There are many times I've tried to do these things for residents, and we never lack of community members willing to help. I always look at the position of sheriff as being more than law enforcement, but includes unity in the community." 

Martin said Zwiegle was extremely excited they were able to get the new mailbox up for him. 

"On the scene, we saw the mail carrier and told him the mail box was reinstalled so William can start receiving mail again," he added. "He knew William well, because he also is a military veteran and did the same type of service."