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Moats sends healing text message

Posted Aug 15, 2013

When something goes wrong, Bills linebacker Arthur Moats is always one of the first to step up and give of himself to help others.

That was the case when police officer Jeffrey Meister from James City County, Virginia was injured in the line of duty.

One day, around the time of the Bills OTA practices, Moats received a Facebook message from former classmate at JMU, and current officer alongside Meister.

“One of his co-workers reached out to me on Facebook letting me know that he was a big Bills fan, and that they didn’t know if he was going to make it or not. I decided to send him a message, thanking him for his service and letting him know that he was going to get better and everything was going to be alright.”

Moats took it upon himself to surprise Bills fan Meister.

“I’ve been a Bills fan since I was 8 years old,” said Officer Jeffrey Meister, who wears the Bills on his sleeve-literally with a charging Buffalo tattoo on his left arm.

“I was lying in the hospital bed and I heard a text message come in. I read it and it was Arthur Moats. I thought, ‘Someone’s messing with me. Why would Arthur Moats be messaging me?’ He said, ‘Hey Jeff this is Arthur Moats, and I heard about what happened to you and I wanted to let you know that everything is going to be okay with your recovery. I’ll keep saying prayers for you.’ I just kept messaging him back and he never blew me off. He always replied. It was a dream come true.”

Moats' text message encouragement and support helped Meister rally and gain back strength day-by-day. There was one thing left that Meister wanted to do.

“I kept telling him that if I’m able to walk again I’m going to come and see him. I’m here now (at Bills Training Camp) and going to the Kids Day game at Ralph Wilson Stadium,” said Jeffery. “It means the world to me what Moats did, and I think it’s awesome for someone to take time out of their day to talk to a complete stranger and send him a message. It really lifted me up.”

And so, Jeffery and his family made their way to Rochester and Buffalo. Officer Meister waited by the fences at camp after practice, and Moats knew exactly where to find him.

“I told him to wait on the left side of the field,” said Moats. “I wanted to make sure I found him. He was so grateful, and I was so honored to meet him because he risks his life each day to keep us safe. He’s always served the country (with 21 years in the U.S. Navy) and the community. It was really emotional and felt really good to know that a small step of kindness meant that much to him.”

“All my healing is in little steps. This is just a little piece of the puzzle,” said Jeffrey. “I really want to go back to work again- be a police officer again and help people out. I hope Arthur knows how much what he did meant to me.”

“People think that it’s such an honor to meet us football players, but the real honor is meeting them,” said Arthur. “The fact that we were able to have that moment made me feel incredible. I’m big on the little things, and if you can do something small, it could be the difference in everything. Today showed this.”