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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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by laura Location: philedelphia on Aug 18, 2009 at 02:04 PM
    I hope that those two get caught soon and not be given just a slap on the rist iwould liked to help him i can .
  • by Ralph Location: Meridian on Aug 18, 2009 at 11:11 AM
    Very proud that people still care to help those in need like our local veterans and VFW members. I think that Danny Smith could not have said it better, "if they want to pick on somebody, here I am!"
  • by Anonymous on Aug 18, 2009 at 10:53 AM
    Has anyone, maybe, started a fund to help him replace his medicine or meet other needs? I know he is proud, but it is not fair when we have so much. Maybe one of the veterans that were there. I bet there are at least 100 people that would give $5 or maybe 50 who would give $10 to make his life easier.
  • by Sharyn on Aug 18, 2009 at 08:03 AM
    It looked like these two people new what and where items were. Just wondering, did Mr. Hemphill have health care workers to his house? These two don't belong to the human race they are not human just scavengers! anyone protecting them are no better. God Bless Mr. Hemphill
  • by cassandra Location: meridian on Aug 17, 2009 at 08:21 PM
    i hope they get caught.And see whats coming to them cassandra
  • by Mariska Location: Alabama on Aug 17, 2009 at 07:57 PM
    It is wrong to steal - but from the elderly struggling to survive is cruel! The young ladies that did this must treat their elders in the same way. We need to take care of our seniors and certainly a Worl War II veteran. People please open your hearts and wallets and assist this dear man.
  • by Anonymous on Aug 17, 2009 at 05:01 PM
    May God multiply blessing to those who practice compassion, like Miss. Bell, Mr. Smith and Mr. McElroy. May God multiply curses on those who steal and cheat.
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