A great many readers expressed interest in and had questions about William, who was profiled in Facets yesterday here. So I am making a radical departure from my Facets SOP and writing a brief follow up to help satisfy people's curiosity and concern.
I have been looking for William since last Thursday, circling through the West Lebanon strip at least once a day, sometimes three times a day, in hopes of finding him. I had some unanswered questions to ask and - like many readers - wanted to offer to help William get to Nebraska. He had told me last week that he was just saving up some money to start hitchhiking to Nebraska, and I was afraid he'd gone. But as I circled the Walmart parking lot this morning, I found him. He was sitting on a median with two bags that I later learned contained all of his earthly belongings.
I walked up to William and told him I'd been looking for him for days. He told me he'd had a horrible bug that had kept him pretty immobile for the last 3 or 4 days. He felt deathly ill. Then he told me that now he was feeling a bit better and so was planning on leaving today for Nebraska. He had $3 in his pocket. I told him about the DailyUV profile of him and how a number of readers had reached out wanting to help him with job offers or donations towards his bus or train fare to Nebraska. Williams eyes turned red and filled up with tears. He just couldn't believe it.
I've put William up for a night at a motel in White River Junction and, if all goes as planned, he'll be on the 11:37 a.m. Amtrak train tomorrow, beginning a 3-day train odyssey to Lincoln, Nebraska. If you'd like to contribute to William's journey, please email me at email@example.com. I plan to give him a little money so he an eat along the way to Nebraska and get his feet on the ground when he gets there.
William at the Super 8 Motel in White River Junction
And for those of you who wondered why William wasn't receiving any benefits, this is what he told me. He does not believe he is eligible for veteran's benefits because he only did 2 tours of duty back in the '70's. He thinks you have to have performed more military service than that to receive benefits. (Please tell me if he's wrong.) He does, however, periodically go to VA Hospitals for health check ups. He used to receive a small Social Security check when he was in Wyoming. But the Social Security Administration sent paperwork advising him that he needed additional paperwork, and William just hasn't dealt with that yet. When he gets to Nebraska, he plans to get all of this in order and start receiving Social Security again. His only form of ID is a faded Wyoming driver's license that is not very legible, and he will get that fixed too.
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