Clallam County Sheriff’s Deputy Don Kitchen buys some groceries for an Army veteran after encountering the man during an “erratic driver” call in the Sequim area.

Clallam County Sheriff’s Deputy Don Kitchen buys some groceries for an Army veteran after encountering the man during an “erratic driver” call in the Sequim area.

Clallam deputy takes extra step to help lost Army veteran

PORT ANGELES — A Clallam County sheriff’s deputy is earning praise from the department after buying groceries for an 83-year-old veteran who got lost on his way to the store.

Undersheriff Ron Cameron said Deputy Don Kitchen’s actions show what kind of people work at the department.

“I told Don he did such a great job,” Cameron said. “I work with heroes every day, but he stepped up and proved to be one of those guys.”

Kitchen investigated a call of an erratic driver near Sequim at about 7:30 p.m. Sunday. When he stopped the driver, he found that the Army veteran, who retired as a colonel, had left his home in Port Angeles to get some groceries.

The man drove to Sequim and became lost and disoriented, mostly due to the fact he had problems driving at night, Cameron said.

The veteran’s wife had died recently and he lives alone, Cameron said.

After the veteran’s car was parked in Sequim, Kitchen drove him to the Safeway on the east side of Port Angeles.

A sergeant snapped a photo of Kitchen buying groceries for the veteran and sent it to Cameron.

“I was surprised when I came to work and saw the email from the sergeant,” Cameron said. “This time of year, it’s nice to see stories like that.

“It wasn’t staged in any way.”

Kitchen wasn’t expecting any publicity for his gesture, Cameron said. He did it because that’s what Kitchen and most people in law enforcement like to do, Cameron said.

“He recognized this person was in some level of distress, took steps to solve the issue and helped someone along the way,” Cameron said in an email.

“All of us in law enforcement thank Deputy Kitchen for representing our profession in such an exemplary manner.”

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Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at jmajor@peninsula dailynews.com.

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