APACHE JUNCTION, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - When it comes to great neighbors, it's hard to beat John Black.

Just ask Faith Kozick, who lives across the street from Black, in their quiet, Apache Junction neighborhood.

"He doesn't say too much," said Kozick. "He doesn't interfere with anyone, but if you need anything, he's there to help."

Black has earned quite the reputation for his neighborly good deeds, but nothing compares to the kindness and comfort he provided to World War II veteran Frank Bragg, who recently died.

"I think it was a gift to be with him when he passed," said Black. "He had a really peaceful death. He was such a great old guy."

The 95-year-old war hero lived alone, with an assortment of health problems, but had no interest in going to a nursing home.

Black volunteered to look after him, going over every day for the past year, to help feed him, get him dressed and just sit down and talk.

"I put a baby monitor one way so I could hear him, because he would wake me at midnight or four in the morning, saying, 'I need some help,' or he just wanted a peanut butter sandwich," said Black.

Kozick saw the way Black took care of Bragg and how the men became good friends.

"What he did, normally a person would earn $100 a day, but he did it without any thought of money," said Kozick. "He did it because Frank was a neighbor and a friend."

Kozick wanted Black to know what he means to this community, so she reached out to CBS 5 to Pay It Forward to a special neighbor. A CBS 5 News crew was there when she surprised him with a $500 gift card.

"I reached out to Channel 5 because of your wonderful compassion and sense of loyalty to Frank Bragg," said Kozick. "You gave him months of good health even though he was dying. You were fantastic. You are my hero John, so on behalf of Channel 5, we want to present you with a $500 gift card and our blessings."

"I couldn't think of anyone who deserved to be thanked more than John," added Kozick. "He really is a good neighbor."

Jason Barry is best known for his Dirty Dining Report which airs Fridays at 6:30 p.m. on CBS 5.  He is also the storyteller behind CBS 5's Pay It Forward which airs every Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

Copyright 2020 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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