OLIVER SPRINGS, Tenn. — 89-year-old Oliver Springs Korean War veteran Edward Moran served many people across his lifetime.
Moran served baked goods and cakes in restaurants across the nation and world -- from New York to England. He helped to serve his country and community.
"They would come in and say where's the chef and I said you're talking to him. Remember this is the 50s, you didn't have black men in charge," Moran said.
Back in the day, Moran remembered making cakes for one of JFK's birthday celebrations. He even got a special thank you from a guest who attended.
"Marilyn Monroe," Moran said. "She came back to personally thank me."
Since the 1970s, Moran was in a common-law marriage with his partner, Bobby. Bobby passed away in 2018. That's when life would turn upside down for the local vet.
"So I needed help to start paying the bills when Bobby passed away," Moran said.
His health started to decline, family members passed away and he was on his own. That's when he depended on local caregivers and neighbors to step in and help.
"The people who were helping me were basically helping themselves," Moran said.
He said some people took advantage of him taking money and personal items. He said some stole nearly everything he had with the exception of his vintage cooking essentials.
"I just wasn't used to people taking that kind of advantage," Moran said. "It was disappointing."
The same community Moran once loved and cared for had failed him.
"It had took me a couple of hours to process what had happened to him because this was a man that not only served his country, but also served his community," Brysonn's Closet board member Kristy Bentley said.
When Bentley found out Moran's belongings were stolen, she decided it was time to help out.
"This is a situation of elder abuse," Bentley said. "Now it's time for his community to serve him."
In response, Moran said, "It was good timing."
Brysonn's closet and the American Legion Post are giving back to the vet. They had provided chairs, couches, a bed and much more.
"He's very humbled. He's very excited," Bentley said.
Local community members are determined to show Moran his community loves him and is ready to rebuild his life.