Veterans Aid One of Their Own

The theft of treasured items and cash from a World War II veteran has touched hearts in Meridian.

82-year-old Clovis Hemphill said his life savings were stolen from him Aug. 13. He said one woman distracted him at his front door, while another went in his back door to steal his valuables.

Since Newscenter 11 aired the story, Hemphill has also discovered that his heart medicine was taken as well.

"I don't understand how I feel. They've gotten everything I had," said Hemphill Monday..

Since learning about his plight, a number of people have asked how they can help. While we were at Hemphill's house Monday, two veterans c paid a visit to lend a helping hand.

"A bunch of us veterans took up some money," said Vietnam veteran Danny Smith.

"No, I'm a proud man," said Hemphill.

"Take it, sir. Please, take it," said Smith, who was accompanied by veteran, Chuck McElroy.

"It's sick. When somebody has to pick on somebody, a veteran that has fought for this country and rob him of everything that he's got, it's sick," said McElroy.

"If they want to pick on somebody, here I am," said Smith. "If they want to do something like that, come see me. Don't pick on this gentleman here.

Hemphill's next door neighbor, who often assists him, made a plea to the people responsible.

"It is wrong and a lot of his possessions that someone took, at least they could have the courtesy, the decency you know to just return that," said Martha Bell.

Hemphill was not able to give a detailed description of the two women, only that they were African-American.

However, Meridian police say they are continuing to investigate the crime.

Capt. James Sharpe said detectives are carefully going over what Hemphill was able to tell them.

"We're also fielding several reports and calls that's coming in to the division in reference to who these people might be and to, what steps we might take to help him out in his situation," Sharpe said.

Anyone who knows about this incident or similar schemes is asked to call Crimestoppers at 601-485-1860.

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