Local veteran battling cancer helps vets receive benefits

HATTIESBURG, Miss - David Wainwright has been battling Stage 3 leukemia for the last several years. Through the long treatments of chemotherapy, David still finds time in helping local veterans receive their benefits.

"They are asking for help that they know nothing about, and that is the main thing...they know nothing about this" David ays.

Every Wednesday for the past 11 years David volunteers at the C.E. Roy community center in downtown Hattiesburg assisting veterans who heard about his service.

Everytime David see's a veteran at the store or around town, he informs them about what goes on every Wednesday at the community center.

Slowly but surely, veterans who were helped out by David, told their veteran comrades and soon lines were at the door.

He says, "I'm not going to let my knowledge about benefits go to waste and if I can help anyone I can do it. Unfortunately some medical prolems are coming back on me right now that I may have to back off again."

David served off the coast of Vietnam and has helped over five hundrerd veterans in Hattiesburg alone.

"It's just the VA is there to help to assure that all the veterans are taken care of one way or another. It's just a hard program to go through because you got to fight, fight, fight to get things done and that's what I have to do is help them get through that fight" David says.

He says that his goal is to inform veterans about their benefits so they don't have to worry about healthcare for the rest of their lives.

David mentions, "You know the good samaritan that helped the stranger at the side of the road. It is such a good feeling, to know that you have literally changed someone's life. You are doing it for no reward, you are just doing it to help them, that is such a great feeling."

Once a week at the community center combat veterans gather together with a professional counselor from Jackson. David mentions that if he believes someone is having a troubling time not only with their benefits, he refers them to the meetings too.

David retired from Paralyzed Veterans of America where he received his benefits training and would like to thank the city of Hattiesburg and Mayor Johnny DuPree of their continued support of their local veterans.

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