What should have been an honorable day for U.S. Marine Charles Whitlock of Ridgefield went terribly wrong when he hit a flood while driving on Route 46.
It not only severely damaged his SUV -- it left Whitlock unable to get to and from his job on Long Island.
Hoping to help him, a longtime friend has launched a GoFundMe campaign aimed at raising the estimated $5,000 he needs to repair the SUV or use to buy a replacement.
"He is a Marine in everything he does," said Robin Daghlian-Curasco.
That includes paying it forward.
In 2004, chemical exposure during his service in the Gulf War severely damaged Whitlock's kidneys, Daghlian-Curasco said.
He spent the following eight years on dialysis until a match finally came through. As Whitlock was being rolled into the operating room, though, doctors said his kidney was a perfect match for someone else.
"He gave it up," Daghlian-Curasco said. "He gave it to someone else. Luckily another one came in. But that showed me he is a Marine in everything he does."
In 2012, Whitlock lost his home -- and Daghlian-Curasco took him in.
Since he's been living with her family in Ridgefield, she has been able to see his true character.
"All he does is work," said Daghlian-Curasco, who took Whitlock in when he could no longer afford his Teaneck residence.
"He doesn't go out. He doesn't go bowling. He doesn't date," she said. "He works just to keep himself living."
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