Navy Vet-Turned-Referee Moved To Tears When Volleyball Team Buys Him New Car

I am in tears writing this. This story really touched my heart.

If Paulding County’s Lemuel Buster, Atlanta, says he’ll be there soon. That is something you can count on.

The 78-year-old Navy veteran himself was a good volleyball player in his heyday, but he’s spending his free time refereeing matches for the local sports league these days. So he was not just going to throw in the towel when his car died on the day he was supposed to ref a match.

“I made a commitment and a commitment mean a lot to me,” Lemuel said. “I did what I knew I needed to do. I rented a car.”

Eventually, the parents on the sidelines started buzzing with the news that Lemuel had spent his own money to rent a car for their children to be there. The match would have been cancelled without a referee, and they knew that the children meant so much to Lemuel that he would never settle for it. The parents started trying to find a way to help Lemuel get a new car.

One rainy day in May, everyone in the league came together to give Lemuel a gift: a Chrysler Sebring convertible.

Lemuel was visibly moved by the amazing gift, later saying, “I was in tears! There was nothing I could say. It was amazing.”

He says the volleyball league has become like a second family for him over the years, and this gift merely showcases his love for all of the kids and their parents. “These kids are like my grandchildren, and their parents are my kids,” he said, adding that he’s still blown away by their generosity. “To you it’s amazing. To me it’s a blessing. I’m thankful. I am extremely humbled.”

The league’s parents and players feel that this is the least they can do to support such a dedicated community member. Lemuel rarely misses a game— no matter what— and he always shows up hours early to help support the team.

Lemuel says the lesson we can all take away from this experience is quite simple: “There are good people all over the place, and all you need to do is smile.”

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