BBQ helps Valdosta veteran in need - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

BBQ helps Valdosta veteran in need

Joel Whyms Joel Whyms
Robert Story, one of Whyms' lodge brothers, tended the barbecue during the fundraiser Friday Robert Story, one of Whyms' lodge brothers, tended the barbecue during the fundraiser Friday
David Spikes David Spikes
A steady stream of community members filled the parking lot Friday, waiting in line to get some barbecue and support Whyms A steady stream of community members filled the parking lot Friday, waiting in line to get some barbecue and support Whyms
VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -

Five year Army veteran Joel Whyms did a lot in the army, including acting as a presidential escort for Carter and Reagan and even guarding the tomb of the unknown soldier.

Friday, members of his lodge and another lodge came together to do something for him, hosting a barbecue to help raise money to modify his van so he can get around.

"I don't need pats on the back or anything else, but I do need to be mobile so I can do what I do," said Whyms.

Whyms is well known for helping out in the community at schools, his church, and his lodge. But on January 26th, he had his second leg amputation due to complications from diabetes. Since then, he hadn't been able to use his lower body much, making it nearly impossible for him to drive.

He said seeing all the people come out and buy plates of food makes him feel good, but he admitted it took some convincing from one of his sons to get him to agree to the barbecue.

"He was, like, 'dad, you do so much in the community and in the school and at the church and with the lodge. Why don't you let the people of Valdosta help you out,'" recalled Whyms.

Robert Story is a brother at Whyms' lodge and said he was glad to cook the food during the barbecue Friday, knowing that he was helping a friend and brother get what he needs to continue to help others.

"We got ribs right here, got chicken, got sausage, got ribs there, got some ribs over there," said Story, as he tended to the barbecue.

One of Whyms' sons, 15 year-old David Spikes, was also helping out at the barbecue. "He got no leg[s] and he's a vet, so I just wanted to help him," said Spikes. "I do look up to him. He's a good father."

And Friday, the community showed how much they look up to him, too.

The goal is to raise $3,000. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help raise money.

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