Homer Sr. has a proxy-Papa Wolf moment when he sees Roy Lee being beaten by his stepfather, the resident abusive alcoholic. He does the whole grab-you-by-the-collar thing without the punch-you-in-the-face part, all the while plagued by soot-filled lungs:
Homer Hickam, Sr: Now you listen to me you drunken son of a bitch. If that boy's father were still alive, he'd kick your ass. So I'm gonna have to do it for him. If I see him with a bruise... you get a scar. If I see him with a limp... you get crutches! Do you hear me? Do you hear me?
Vernon: I'm reportin' you to the union!
Homer Hickam, Sr: Screw you and your damn union!