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CLEVELAND (WJW) — Two members of the Cleveland VA Medical Center family, one of them a Navy veteran, were honored Tuesday for their extraordinary actions in assisting Vietnam veteran Peter Hoban in a parking garage.

“These two rushed to my aid, not really knowing the consequences, fortunately, there were none, but I do thank you very much from the bottom of my heart,” said Hoban

He had come to the hospital just days before Veterans Day to have some symptoms checked out. 

“This past November, there was an incident in our patient parking garage in which two juveniles tried to forcibly take Mr. Hoban’s car,” explained Kristen Parker, Chief of Communications & External Affairs Service.

Hoban says as he was walking toward the hospital, one teen blocked his path and another hit him as he struggled with the teens, two VA employees stepped in.

“I was able to hold both of them down for a while, um, I started screaming for help, police this that and the other and fortunately these two gentlemen, Anthony and Kevin both assisted me.”

WJW photo

“I could see him, it wasn’t that far away, I wasn’t that far away, I could see him and I heard very clear,” said VA employee Anthony Lovelace.

While one of the teens got away, Lovelace and his colleague Kevin Collins — who both work in food and nutrition service — were able to help detain the other teen until police arrived.

“Without the assistance of these two gentlemen I probably would’ve never been able to hold on to the last one,” said Hoban.

Hoban immediately reached out to the VA to make sure the two men were recognized. “Military, family, we all stick together and that’s why we do it, it’s in our hearts, it’s always going to be in our hearts,” said Collins.

“While we encourage our veterans, employees and visitors to report suspicious activity and not fight back, we also understand the population that we serve. They fought for our country and are going to fight to protect themselves,” said VA Northeast Ohio Health Care Exec. Dir. and CEO Jill Dietich Mellon.

Tuesday’s ceremony was a powerful moment as the three reunited for the first time since the incident.

“I thought I was over the emotions but I’m not. Very very good, very heartwarming,” said Hoban.