PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Joan Rowton is extremely proud of her brother Steve, who served nearly 30 years in the U.S. Marines.

She's also grateful to the men and women at VFW Post 720 in Phoenix, who treated Steve like family when he moved here from Chicago 10 years ago.

"They took him in and helped him," said Rowton. "The Commander actually washed his clothes. I wanted to wash his clothes.

But the kindness didn't stop there.

Members of VFW Post 720 gave Steve a place to stay next door and gave him a job as caretaker of the facility.

Pat Romero is Senior Vice Commander of VFW Post 720,  which is located off Thomas Road and 40th Street in Phoenix.

He said they have a number of financial challenges, especially being in such old building that needs a lot of repairs. But helping Steve and other Vets is always their top priority.

"We've seen families in our parking lot, and they're asking for assistance," said Romero. "We'll provide them with a gas card, or Frys card for 25-50 dollars worth of groceries, whatever these Veterans need."

Sadly, Steve passed away this summer, but Rowtown will never forget the comfort VFW Post 720 has provided her and her family.

She reached out to CBS 5 to Pay it Forward to these Vets helping other Vets.

"Just got to give back to all the veterans and what they've done for this country," said Rowton.

A CBS 5 news crew was there when Rowton showed up one day to surprise VFW Post 720's leadership team and give them a $500 gift card.

"Channel 5, I reached out to them because they have a Pay it Forward program," said Rowton.  "You have offered so much help to my brother when he was alive. You treated him like a human being and like the person he wanted to be. He loved you all as brothers and sisters."

"So at this time, on behalf of my family and channel 5 family too, we would like to give you a $500 gift card for the VFW Post."

"My husband is a retired Marine too, so I know what they've gone through," said Rowton. "I feel they should be taken care of - they've done so much for us."

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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