DPS honors Brownfield veteran who spreads love through art - FOX34 Lubbock

DPS honors Brownfield veteran who spreads love through art

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

A Brownfield veteran is showing his love through art and it's earned him a special honor. 

Ralph Kelley, also know as "the heart man", shows his appreciation for others by carving them little, wooden hearts. 

"I've done woodwork and stuff for quite a while. My wife was in the hospital for nearly two months and I would sit in the waiting room each day for two months and I had a bunch of little hearts," Kelley said. "I would pass them out to the caretakers and those who did the hard work -- the nurses I saw what it did for them, made them smile and changed their demeanor. So I started making them and handing them out."

Wednesday, surrounded by family and friends, state troopers honored his support for first responders and veterans. 

They presented him with the American flag that flew over the State Capitol on Independence Day. Kelley says he's starting to realize the impact his hearts have on those who receive them. 

"I'm just thinking about where is this going, who is going to see it and what it does for them," he said. 

And it does make an impact. Sergeant Johnny Bures says he's grateful people like the heart man still show appreciation for law enforcers. 

"You know it definitely puts a smile on your face, you know as Mr.Kelley was saying, we got COVID and good, bad -everything going on - it helps to have that support from the community," Bures said, "and these tokens that we can carry around remind us why we do the things we do."

Kelley says he wants to continue making hearts and bring joy for as long as he can. 

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