Navy veteran's family receives unexpected check during difficult time

ORANGEBURG, SC (WACH) -- A recently retired Navy veteran and his family got a welcomed surprise to help them through a difficult time.

The family breathed a sigh of reassurance and surprise when representatives from Wish Upon a Hero walked onto their lawn with a supersized check.

The check for $1,645 covered three car payments crucial to the family's ability to stay afloat while in a financial clinch.

"He's been really stressed about a lot of stuff, 'cause he's always taken care of us, he's always provided, and he's always worked really hard," said Sharon Knight of her husband Marrion Knight.

Providing became a struggle for Knight when he was recently medically and honorably discharged from his position as a Navy Specialist First Class. He had spent 12 years in service with the Navy, including deployment in Iraq and Japan.

"We came back -- he had some readjustment issues -- post-traumatic stress," said Sharon of her husband who was in an explosion in Iraq and was in Japan during its recent devastating earthquake.

Wright was approved for retirement pay, but he won't see any of that until the fall. In the mean time the family has struggled to keep their car from being reposessed.

"I'd say I'm pretty amazed that my family has gotten through all of this together -- that we're still intact as a family," said Adrianna, Knight's 17-year-old daughter.

The organization Wish Upon a Hero made the donation after Wright's wife Sharon posted the wish on the organization's website.

"She told me she was gonna do an online thing, and I was like, 'Oh okay whatever,'" said Knight, shrugging his shoulders.

He says he didn't think anything of it until a crowd of media members filled his front lawn Friday before the check was brought in.

Marine veteran Will Berger was deployed in Iraq himself and delivered the check to Knight. He said he couldn't describe how good it felt to help someone who's been in a similar military situation.

"I hope it releaves a lot of stress and financial burden," said Berger, who is now a Hero Response Team Leader for Wish Upon a Hero. "I hope they make two/three steps forward and don't take any more back."

And the family says the check will create much needed financial relief.

"Having this means we won't have anything to worry about for the next couple of months in regards to our vehicle, 'cause that's the vehicle we use to get him to and from medical appointments and for me to find a job and the children to school," said Sharon Knight. "It's a good thing. It's a very good thing."

Marrion Knight says he is not ready to retire but accepts that it's time to do what's best for him.

"In order to get better, you have to weigh your options," said Knight. "So the best choice is self, so I choose self."

Being brand new to South Carolina, Knight says he is still adjusting to a slower paced lifestyle. When he and his family were not deployed, they lived in San Diego. But he says he has now shifted his priorities to recovering from his post traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, a torn ACL and lung disease.

His wife says she believes the newly removed financial burden will help him to focus more fully on improving his health. She says she believes that will result in a speedier recovery for him.