A Pittsburgh police narcotics detective who served in the Gulf War is now the adopted father of two boys whom he saw needed help.
Jack Mook was a coach at Steel City Boxing, a gym inside a decommissioned Pittsburgh firehouse, two years ago when he met Josh and Jessee, two brothers who were living in a foster home at the time.
“They looked pale,” Mook told ABC News. “Josh had bags under his eyes.”
When the brothers stopped coming to boxing practice, Mook became concerned and tracked them down.
He discovered they were living in a poverty-stricken existence that had spiraled into a nightmare, with no place to sleep, no parenting and no life.
“Josh’s own words were, ‘I’m literally trying to sleep my own life away,’” Mook recalled. “He said, ‘I get home from school [and] I’m trying to just fall asleep until I have to go to sleep again.’”
“He said, ‘Coach, you gotta get us out of there. Can you help us?’” Mook recalled.
Mook did help the boys, taking them in first as foster kids and then adopting the two brothers in September.
“He goes, ‘You’re coming home with me now,’” said Josh. “That was one of the greatest moments in my life so far that I could think of.”
“He’s a great father because he teaches me how to be a better man in life,” said Jessee.
The story of Mook’s generosity gets even bigger because this is not the first time he has helped children in need.
His niece, Christie Kaelin, remembered her uncle taking her in and launching her into adulthood.
“I remember at 18 years old, working in a restaurant, he would iron my shirts and teach me that sort of stuff,” said Kaelin, now a mother herself.
“He’s a hero, not just in the boys' eyes but mine, my family’s, his friends,” she said. “How many people would change their lives like that and turn everything upside down on a dime and just take on a new life.”
The selflessness from Mook, who is single and raising the boys on his own, has not gone unnoticed by the two kids he is helping the most.
“Coach, thank you for everything,” said Josh.
“I just wanted to let you know you are the best father in the world,” said Jessee.
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