Huntsville veteran’s Twitter feud with actor Patton Oswalt leads to medical bill surprise

Updated: Jan. 25, 2019 at 6:29 PM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - A fiery online exchange between a veteran from Huntsville and a Hollywood actor led to an unexpected act of kindness from strangers around the country.

Michael Beatty got into a Twitter war of words with actor/comedian Patton Oswalt about President Donald Trump. Oswalt has been a critic of Trump’s, and Beatty tweeted his response to Oswalt.

"I was in one of those ‘got up on the wrong side of the bed’ mornings and so I gave him really inappropriate, very nasty responses,” Beatty said.

Oswalt looked at the veteran's page and saw a GoFundMe account he set up after two weeks in the hospital for treatment of sepsis and a diabetic coma.

Oswalt ended the heated exchange by donating $2,000 to the account and encouraging his millions of followers to do the same.

And they did. In less than 24 hours the account went from $600 to over $30,000.

“They consciously went out of their way for somebody that they know nothing about and they took action. For Patton, I'm glad that we’re friends now. I look forward to the time that I get to meet him and get these things out verbally and face to face with him. It's something that right now is going to right now be on the top of my bucket list,” said Beatty.

The exchange resulted in 6,000 retweets and thousands of comments with encouraging words from people who put politics aside for one day.

“Love, hugs, all the words that they used, and these people were very sincere. I really don’t know the correct words if I say thank you, that’s not enough,” he said.

Out of all the words of encouragement, the Vietnam veteran is especially grateful for newfound appreciation.

“Now is the first time in my career and life that I’ve ever been told ‘thank you for your service’ and ‘thank you for protecting the flag,’" he said.

Beatty said he plans to use part of the money for medical expenses. He plans to donate whatever’s left over to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, something he says he’s wanted to do for a long time since his grandson battled leukemia.

Oswalt told Beatty he hopes to plan a show in Alabama so they can meet.

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