MINERAL SPRINGS, NC - For 20 years, Addison Barber has woken up to the same sound. "Like an alarm clock," he said of the roosters who reside next door.
The Vietnam veteran was once a proud Marine and two-time recipient of the purple heart. He spends his days inside his home in Mineral Springs, a small community in Union County, smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee.
"Would it be fair to call you stubborn?" asked NBC Charlotte reporter Evan West.
"A lot," Addison replied.
There is no hiding his authenticity. The man is as real as you can be, unapologetic in every aspect. His honesty is refreshing.
"The girl told me 'you've had a stroke.' I said she was nuts!"
The nurse was not wrong. Addison had a stroke in 2015 which paralyzed his left side. He's been stuck in a wheelchair ever since, but he never complains. That's someone else's job.
"Sam, the caregiver, he got all bent out of shape because it's so cold in here!"
Sam doesn't really complain. He tends to Addison's every need which became difficult when the historic cold snap crept into the Carolinas.
"I don't have the money to buy heat," said Addison, who's been without heat all winter.
He survived by wrapping himself in blankets and keeping warm with his beloved coffee and Salem cigarettes.
Sam took it upon himself to start a GoFundMe page and his mom, Holly, made a Facebook post that went viral.
"Money and people came from all directions," said Addison, who admitted the attention was a bit overwhelming.
A man refilled his heater with oil. Publix gave him groceries. A local military organization is planning to build him a wheelchair ramp, and four other people have offered to renovate Addison's home for free. Addison is floored by the generosity.
"Only in North Carolina," he said.
Fighting in a war, serving for more than a decade and raising three kids has taught Addison more than most, but the kindness displayed towards him taught his 20-year-old caretaker something far more valuable.
"You can't take the little things for granted," Sam said. "Seeing him never complain, It's really showed me that you don't need a lot to be happy. All you need is friends and family."