A chance to give something to someone who has given for us
There are some people in life who you instantly get a good feeling about from the moment you meet them.
Even if you don’t know a thing about them, they seem to feel like an old friend right away.
When I first met Dewayne “Booger” Williams, he came off as being just an all-around good person.
I had first heard about him when my husband Jason and I were taking a Sunday drive in the Dover community. Coming around a curve in the road, we spotted a sign with a picture of a soldier. It was a sign proclaiming a wife’s love for her hero.
That sign was a story begging to be told. I tracked down some information, and the next day I was on the phone with Booger’s wife, Cannon. She had put the sign in their front yard to let every driver know that she had married her hero.
Meeting with the Williams’ family, it was heartwarming to hear the stories they had about Booger, who was on his fourth tour overseas with the Army National Guard.
His sons Michael and Joseph were eager to go hunting with their daddy again. They were anxious to load up in his truck and take off on excursions. They were just ready to have him home.
When Booger did return home safely to Cannon and the boys, I was excited to see the sign remained in their front yard. It was almost like a reminder of the heroes we have here in our own community.
I personally met Booger a few months later. He had known Jason when they were younger, and we shared a few funny stories about him.
But I remember him just coming off as a really nice, good person. I invited him to the Yazoo City Lions Club that same week to speak about his tours overseas, particularly his time with the War on Terror.
I learned a lot more about Booger during the Lions Club meeting. After watching the Sept. 11 attacks, he re-enlisted in the military because he “was ready to do something about it.”
I will never forget that statement. There was no fear in his voice. I couldn’t imagine how scared I would have been in that situation. But if Booger was, you wouldn’t have guessed it during that presentation.
I came across the Williams family a few months after that when the couple discovered a pasture in Yazoo City filled with neglected horses.
Meeting Booger and his boys in the pasture, we walked amongst the decomposing bodies of horses. Starving, a few horses could be seen in the distance. It was the most disturbing sight I had seen in my whole life.
Booger explained to me how discovering the horses made an impact on him. He said he was almost like a slap in the face for a returning veteran to see animals treated in such a condition. A lot of people would have driven on and just chalked it up to someone else’s problem, but not Booger.
Moved by such a sight, the Williams family were able to rescue the remaining horses. They even established Second Chance Farms to five abused animals a true second chance.
The Williams family are really a special group of people. I may not see them but every now and then, but they always treat me with kindness.
From defending his country to loving his family to caring for his community, Booger was there whenever the call came.
Knowing all this, it hit a nerve inside me when I heard he was severely injured in a car accident in Hattiesburg while training others at Camp Shelby. He remains in the hospital recovering.
Normally, my columns are dedicated to memories of my own childhood or funny stories of my husband and children. But this time, I would like to use my space to ask the community for their prayers and support for Booger and his family.
A Fill the Boot Drive will be held in Bentonia today from 8 a.m. until noon. There is also a relief fund established at any BankPlus location.
Donations will go towards Booger’s medical expenses, as well as the operation of Second Chance Farms.
If there is anything worth supporting in Yazoo, I truly believe this cause is one of them. Even if donations aren’t possible, prayer is most important at this critical time.
It’s time for the community to come together for a man who volunteered to defend his country and its freedoms. He is a man who protects the rights of even the animals in his community. He supports, provides and loves his family.
He is simply a good person.