Act of Kindness Helps Marine Receive Military Funeral

Home Depot manager helps widow get forgotten combination to fireproof safe

By Tammy Mutasa
|  Monday, Jun 25, 2012  |  Updated 7:35 PM CDT
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Martha Davis just wanted a military burial for her Marine husband when he died, but the paperwork she needed was locked in a fireproof safe that's when a Home Depot manager rushed to help.

Tammy Mutasa, NBC 5 Garland Reporter

Martha Davis just wanted a military burial for her Marine husband when he died, but the paperwork she needed was locked in a fireproof safe that's when a Home Depot manager rushed to help.

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A Richardson woman is thanking a Home Depot manager who helped her honor her husband.

Martha Davis needed help opening a fireproof safe after her 71-year-old husband unexpectedly died. She wanted her husband, a Marine who served in the Korean War, to have a military funeral.

"He was a Marine, and he was very proud of it, and I thought he deserved those honors," she said. "It was, once a Marine, always a Marine."

But Thomas Davis had died on a Saturday. His military paperwork was due by 3 p.m. on Monday, but it was locked in the safe -- and Martha Davis couldn't remember the combination.

Early Monday morning, Davis called the Home Depot in Garland where she bought the safe years ago.

"It touched me, particularly because I lost my wife about nine years ago, so I knew that those where tough times and, during tough times, we need help," manager Rich Arthur said.

He drove to her house to get the 60-pound safe's serial number. Then he called the safe's vendor, but it wouldn't release the combination without a notarized letter. Arthur then drafted the letter for Davis, and she faxed it off.

But they were still running out of time.

"By one o'clock, I had not heard anything, and I was getting very anxious because of my 3 p.m. deadline," Davis said.

Arthur called the vendor again, and Davis finally got a call with the magic numbers.

"She doesn't have to say, 'Thank you;' I know it," Arthur said. " And I know that maybe I was put in that right spot to help her, and that's what I did."

"[My husband] would have been proud," Davis said. "He would have been so proud to see those Marines there for him."

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