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Veteran’s special work boots stolen from front porch

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PONCA CITY, Okla. – On a day where veterans are thanked for their services, one man is searching for the person that stole a pair of boots from his front porch.

The boots had special inserts for the Army veteran.

Like many out there, his wounds from the service may be invisible to you and I, but they are still there.

Now, John Gurule will have to endure the pain of just walking around without his special shoes.

"The way I broke my ankle was in at least six different places," he said.

That's how this story begins for Gurule.

His injury happened while he was at Ft. Riley, Kansas.

"I have now a fallen arch, and the way my ankle is held together is it's held together by a disk," Gurule said.

Relief came from special inserts inside a pair of work boots he left on the front porch late Monday night.

"The way I walk, if I go without those inserts, I start to hurt, and I can't walk very often," Gurule said.

The inserts were specially molded to his feet at the VA center in Oklahoma City.

And, now, they're gone - the only evidence caught on camera.

"You can see him coming up on the porch," Gurule said. "You will see, he is not truly knocking on my door."

A bit strange.

"He reaches down, grabs what he wants and you can see my shoes in the left hand and as he goes down, turns on a flash light," Gurule said. "Why? Why my shoes? Why my house? Why fake like you're knocking?"

Answers this veteran may never get.

“If you’ve ever been to the VA, it’s a long wait. I don’t have the time,” Gurule said. “I’m more into taking care of my priorities, and my feet are not it. It is my family. And, taking off time, it’s money out of my pocket.”

He said most people don't know he served our country, except for the green light on his porch.

"Most veterans walk around invisible to the world. You don't know who they are until something comes up or they say something - same thing for him," Gurule said. "I don't know if he's a homeless man just looking for a little hand-up, trying to get up in the world or you're shoes are ripped and you need something new."

And, he said he'd even help the man who took his shoes.

"I probably even got a coat you can have, it's getting cold," Gurule said.

Gurule said the inserts are molded specifically to his feet.

It could take months now before he can get an appointment with the VA.