TAMPA - Army Specialist Thongpane Thongdeng lost his leg serving his county in Afghanistan in 2010. While on his first deployment, Thongdeng was driving part of a convoy when his truck ran over an IED. The blast caused his right leg to have to be amputated and left him paralyzed. He had already paid the ultimate price for his county, but life wouldn’t stop there.
Friday, Thongdong went home after finished a week-long stay at James A Haley Veteran’s Hospital for treatment. When went into his apartment, found that it had been burglarized.
He called Tampa Police Department who responded to the scene. Among the stolen items were multiple electronics such as a computer, a camera, an iPad and a XBOX game system.
As the officers investigated the burglary, one officer, Connie Tregoe, discovered the XBOX held a special significance for Thongdeng. He used the game to talk to other players online which helped him get through each day.
Officer Tregoe, along with the other members of her squad, pulled their own money together to help buy a new XBOX for the veteran.
Saturday, the squad surprised him with the new gaming system .
The squad is still looking to collect more funds to help Thongdeng replace the remaining items that were stolen. Those who want to contribute can call Tampa Police District II at 813-931-6500.
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