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People from around the world answered the call for help. 

In doing so, they brightened the day of a dying Army veteran who wanted nothing more than to hear from us.

The simple act of sending a text message meant the world to Lee Hernandez, who served the country for 18½ years.  

The 47-year-old is under hospice care in New Braunfels, Texas. His dying wish was to receive text messages and phone calls from anybody willing to talk to him.

His wish was granted thousands and thousands and thousands of times over.

“Had one of the best days in a long time and even danced! This is huge,” he said on a GoFundMe page set up Sunday for Lee.

Outpouring of love

Lee’s wife, Ernestine, who will celebrate her 13th wedding anniversary with him next week, enlisted the help of Caregivers of Wounded Warriors and the Arizona Veteran Forum to spread to word. 

In a matter of days, Lee’s inbox was filled with more than 100,000 text messages. The response he got was overwhelming — probably a little more than expected– and crashed the Hernandez’s phone, according to the GoFundMe page

“The fact that people contacted him and there were people who cared, has really made a dramatic effect on Lee’s mood and spirit and overall health,” according to the GoFundMe Page, named Support Lee American Hero Campaign. 

The page was briefly set up for Lee to “fill this season of his life with all the joy that we can.” It was shut down after it quickly met its fundraising goal of $3,000. 

Ernestine previously told The Republic that doctors have not been able to pinpoint a cause for Lee’s illness, who suffers from continuous strokes, lose of cognitive abilities and blindness. But, all the love and support has brightened his days.

Ernestine shared a video of Lee thanking everyone for uplifting him Friday.

“I appreciate it all.”

The money raised will go toward improving his home accessibility, getting a hitch kit to transport his motorized wheelchair and to visiting places on Lee’s bucket list. 

“His medical condition is still very fragile, but he loves the support you all are giving him,” says the GoFundMe page.

Here’s how to help

The viral post that tugged on everyone’s heart strings has helped make Lee’s time easier.

According to the Arizona Veteran’s Forum, Lee “is getting a service dog, cleaning service and his old platoon that he lost contact with are going to make a trip to see him after many years.”

Many others who want to send their well-wishes are wondering what they can do to help.

Lee has received so many text messages and calls that he is now requesting emails. Anyone who had a problem reaching Lee can send him an email at [email protected].

People can also send cards to this address:

Lee Hernandez
PO Box 200265
San Antonio, TX 78220

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