PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Shepherd’s Heart Veterans Home in Uptown Pittsburgh is basking in the aroma of turkey in the oven.

It’s part of a feast residents will share on Thanksgiving Day, thanks to the generosity of a local police officer.

Jim Kuzak is himself a wounded veteran of the Clairton Police force. On a rainy night in April 2011, a gunman’s bullets left him paralyzed from the waist down.

Michelle Sager recently called Officer Kuzak, on behalf of Anthony Albert Real Estate, to tell him he’d receive a Thanksgiving dinner for 20 after being voted “Pittsburgh Protector of the Year.”

His answer surprised her.

“He said, you know, ‘I just want to pay it forward. And I want to give this dinner I’m receiving to the shelter.’ And it speaks to his character,” said Sager. “It’s just beautiful.”

The turkey is a big one. It has to be. It will feed 20 to 25 hungry veterans.

Rev. Michael Wurschmidt, the founding pastor of the Veterans Home, says residents are looking forward to Thanksgiving Day.

“For him to be able to pay this forward to our veterans – and many of them are combat veterans, who also suffer from traumas of war – what an honor. What an honor,” said Rev. Wurschmidt.

The officer from Clairton says he’s honored to help out.

“I see guys that are young kids, to these guys who have already served in the wars, and I don’t often have the ability to do anything. So when this came up, it was a no-brainer,” said Kuzak.

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