Last Updated May 12, 2016 5:00 PM EDT
Marty Slutsky has been protecting and serving others for years. He's seen a lot, but what happened this week left even him at a loss for words.
On Thursday night, the 62-year-old was the one getting the help.
"It's been a dream, I'd say, to go to an actual Duke basketball game for the last 10 years," Slutsky said. "I was so excited that I couldn't even sleep."
Working as a security guard at one of Duke's campus libraries, he's a well-known face to the students. He works the graveyard shift, often hearing the cheers from nearby Cameron Indoor Stadium.
But not once has he sat in the stands to cheer on his beloved Blue Devils - why?
"Well because they're super, super, super expensive," Slutsky said.
Duke sophomores Kayla Schulz and Lauren Perry-Carrera created a go-fund me page, looking to raise $430 for a pair of tickets for Slutsky.
"I thought, he's such a friendly guy. You see him walking down the hall and I said I want to be friends with him," Schulz said. "He's worked here for 12 years. It's crazy that he hadn't been to a game before."
Just 30 minutes after sharing the page on Facebook, they reached their goal - and beyond.
"It just makes you realize how precious he is to the students and how many people love and respect him," Perry-Carrera said.
"I'm going to a Duke game! And I'm very, very excited and it's great!" Slutsky said. "A dream come true."
So Thursday night -- wearing his Duke colors, with a friend in tow and tickets in hand -- Marty waited, like he has been for 12 long years. But this time, it was just a line for a two-hour game, a decade in the making.
Correction: In an earlier version of this story, we reported incorrect information regarding Mr Slutsky's past employment. CBS News has determined Mr. Slutsky was never a member of New York City's Fire Department and have been unable to confirm his contention of military service.