Home of Cedar Rapids veteran burglarized

Melvin Trotter sits on the porch of his home in Cedar Rapids.

Melvin Trotter is a Vietnam War veteran. He served his country and then returned home to open a car business in Cedar Rapids. After a recent stay at the hospital however, Melvin came home to find his house broken into with critical items missing.

"They absolutely took plates, knifes, forks everything, there was nothing left in there," Trotter said. "They took 18 pencils of insulin. It almost felt like I should just throw a match in there and leave."

Apart from the critical insulin, Melvin's hearing aids are also missing. The living room now sits empty, an air conditioning unit and a snow blower were stolen as well. Those are named in a police report Trotter filed earlier this week. But this isn't the first time he has had items stolen. In two separate instances in 2017, equipment was stolen from his garage leaving him scared this could happen again.

Charles Elias of the Freedom Foundation has helped Trotter before. They payed for a utility bill to make sure he had warm water. Elias's organization helps veterans in distress to find their footing again. Trotter however wasn't a frequent recipient of monetary help. But when he walked in and told Elias what happened, he gave him 75 dollars just to make sure he had something.

"Mel is an elderly veteran, he owns his own home and he lives a nice life, for somebody to do this to him is greatly upsetting," Elias said.

The organization is now trying to raise awareness to Trotter's situation and help him anyway they can because it is hard to understand how a situation like this can be turned around.

"Pride gets in the way and for him to come in today he must be at the bottom," Elias said. "How would you react if you lost everything, he has nothing, nothing at all."

If you are interested in helping Melvin through the Freedom Foundation you can give Charles Elias a call at 319-826-2010 or visit their website at

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