Vietnam vet helps wounded warrior with home repairs

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - He's a wounded warrior who could use some home repair help. Sean Baptiste served his country for 15 years in the Army and was badly wounded during a tour of duty in Iraq.

He's a proud man who doesn't like asking for help, even though he needs it. A fellow serviceman, a Vietnam veteran, found out about the home repair needs and is determined to make this project happen.

Construction materials in the yard offer the first clues to the unfinished home.

"As you can see, he's got cabinets laying down over here," said Dan Miller, as he gave visitors a tour of the home. "He's got a brand new refrigerator."

Bare studs and unfinished wiring are just the beginning.

"You can see the hole in the floor where the plumbing has to be run," said Miller, pointing to a large trench like hole in the concrete floor. "Water is actually leaking in there."

"Yeah, I could definitely use some help," said Baptiste, while petting his rescue pit bull named Duke.

This 15 year Army veteran served multiple tours in Iraq before he was badly wounded with injuries that included a broken spine.

Friends helped with the house, but never got it finished.

"It's kind of humbled me a bit, because I'm not the kind of person who does ask for help. I'm used to doing things on my own. So, it is a little frustrating. It does get depressing at times," Baptiste admitted.

Enter Dan Miller and his get it done attitude.

"If this bathroom isn't set up the way it's supposed to be, he's not going to be able to take care of himself properly," said Miller. "I will help coordinate all the volunteers so that we can get things rolling for this young man, and get him in shape and get his house in shape."

Adding to this veteran's frustration is the fact that he used to build and repair homes for a living. You see, Sean Baptiste had his own contracting business. That's what brought him to the coast after Hurricane Katrina

"That's what brought him to Mississippi, to help rebuild after Katrina. To not be able to do the work that he's done for so many years, is very hard and humbling," said his full time caregiver, Trish O'Toole.

"It is frustrating. It would be nice to see it finished. So any help that I could get, I would surely be grateful for," said Baptiste.

"This young man, he is a hero, and he deserves the help. He needs the help. Please give it to him," said Miller.

Again, Dan Miller is heading up the project and coordinating volunteers. You can reach him at (228) 539-4930.

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