Don't hesitate to lend helping hand

On the evening of April 27, I was riding my bike up the 13th Street bridge when I came upon a disheveled man who was sitting precariously on the bridge railing, one leg over the rail. I stopped and asked him if he was OK, and he said no. I asked him to get down and talk to me.

He was a homeless veteran. He was weepy, intoxicated, dirty and obviously in need of assistance. I was concerned for his safety and asked him to walk with up the bridge with me. Because of his intoxication -- and me pushing my bicycle -- it was a slow and difficult walk.

I frequently looked over my shoulder, anxious for assistance. I was frustrated by the great number of cars -- and three bicyclists -- that passed in both directions, and no one slowed down or stopped to offer help. Finally, the police arrived, and kindly drove the man to a safe location.

My concern is that we are all guilty of turning our heads when a "less than desirable" citizen is in need. I doubt that an attractive, middle-class person in the same situation would have been ignored.

It is naive to think that any one of us is immune to our own crises. My hope is that there will be a friend or stranger to help you when your own need arises.

Megan L. Scott

North Augusta, S.C.

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