A vet's dying wish - to help others - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

A vet's dying wish - to help others

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -- The dying wishes of a World War II Veteran were simply to help other vets. Many knew John Lanham as a pastor and bible book store owner, but after returning from war he also served out county at the sheriff's office. Weeks after he died his wishes brought the two together once again.

"Words can't say what's in my heart for people that donate to veterans," said Charlie Hobbs the president of Chapter 203 Vietnam Veterans of America.

Hobbs will have the task of finding the right veteran to fit Thursday's donated state of the art wheelchair.

Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond also a member of the 203 presented the chair on behalf of WWII Veteran John Lanham.

Lanham recently died at age 93 and Hammond said Lanham didn't want his chair to go to waste, "I think that's the kind of man he was, he was generous to a fault. I couldn't go into his book store without him trying to give me half his books. I said johnny I can't read all these and don't have a place to put them."

Aside from running a bible book store in Brainerd Lanham used to volunteer with the Sheriff's department years after returning from war.

Hobbs said he never had the chance to meet Lanham, "never met the gentleman but he's my brother."

Sheriff Hammond said a lot of our veterans are getting to the point where their independence is be taken away by old age, and anything the public can do to help is more than welcome, "when I see a wheel chair available I say have you thought about donating that to one of the local veteran groups. We have a lot of pride in Hamilton county for our veterans. I think when folks see this on the news they'll think, you know I've got one."

If you have an extra wheel chair and don't know what to do, call the sheriff's office and help a local veteran.

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