Sabattus School Resource Officer John Dalbec, right, loads wood into the arms of Oak Hill High School football player Latrel Williams at the home of retired Air Force veteran Karl Dostie, who needed some help around the yard. Working with them are other members of the Sabattus Police Department and Oak Hill students. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

SABATTUS — Air Force veteran Karl Dostie has always been active and able to fend for himself, so it took a lot of courage to reach out for help when he realized he couldn’t do the physical things he used to.

On Wednesday morning he not only received much-needed help around his yard, but made some new friends and gained respect for some hard-working high school football players and the local police.

Sabattus Police Officer Chris Miller hauls a load of wood to the woodshed Wednesday morning at the home of Karl and Tammy Dostie in Sabattus, with some moral support from his daughter, River. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

A giant pile of seasoned wood neatly stacked and covered in his front yard needed to be moved to a shed next to his home. Dostie uses the wood to heat his home in the winter.

“I have always done it but I am in too much pain now from this degenerative disc disease I have, and couldn’t ask my wife to do it,” Dostie said. “So I reached out to the Sabattus Police Department to see if they knew of anyone I could hire to help me get it moved.”

When Sgt. Michael Chaine got the call he immediately saw an opportunity to do some volunteer community service and knew he could count on some of his officers. He also had an ace up his sleeve: the department’s school resource officer, John Dalbec, and Peter Theriault, a coach at Oak Hill High School, drafted some of the local football players to come help.

Everyone worked hard and pitched in except River Miller, the infant daughter of officer Chris Miller. River just giggled and cooed at everyone while hitching a ride in a carrier on the front of her father.

“We are as giddy as kids at a high school dance,” said Dostie, as he and his wife, Tammy, laughed and bonded with the crew while they passed with wheelbarrows and arms full of the wood.

Karl and Tammy Dostie, foreground, are surrounded by the volunteers from the Sabattus Police Department and Oak Hill High School who came to their home Wednesday morning to help move wood into their woodshed. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

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