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Wildman never stops serving

Ferry veteran honored for VA clinic volunteering

SHOWN HERE is a photo taken by the Veterans Administration of Martins Ferry resident Terry Wildman, who volunteers his time at the Belmont County Veterans Administration Outpatient Clinic in St. Clairsville. Photo provided

MARTINS FERRY — Martins Ferry resident and military veteran Terry Wildman recently was recognized for his volunteer work at the Belmont County Veterans Administration Outpatient Clinic in St. Clairsville.

Wildman, a Vietnam war veteran, said he began volunteering at the clinic about seven months ago. He said he enjoys talking to the veterans who go there for medical services. He helps get the veterans get in and out of the facility during their visits for blood work, podiatry help and other medical necessities.

“I liked the idea of helping veterans. I get to meet what’s left of the World War II veterans, Korean veterans and plus a lot of my friends who are Vietnam veterans,” Wildman said. “It’s gratifying to help people. Most of the people are very, very kind and thankful. The people at the clinic are outstanding. They are very dedicated to the VA facility.”

The VA clinic moved to its new location at the Ohio Valley Mall last April. In addition to it being in a larger space, services also have been expanded there. It was previously located on Plaza Drive in St. Clairsville.

In recognition of his volunteer work, the clinic took up a collection of money to purchase a block on the Heroes Wall Honored Forever at the Tri-State Veterans Military Museum in Belmont. Wildman said his name will be installed at a later date.

When asked what it means to him to receive the honor, Wildman answered, “It means I love them. It’s an honor. They gave it to me at Christmastime. … I really appreciate it.”

Through his volunteer work at the clinic, Wildman said he has run into people he has not seen in 25 years.

“I love talking to the old World War II veterans. I’ve met guys who served under Patton and on D-Day and Iwo Jima. … What an honor it is for me. I shake their hand and salute and introduce myself,” Wildman said. “I always say, ‘Yes, Sir. No, Sir.’ They want to tell me their story in World War II. It’s good to hear a guy 95 or 96 years old still talk about it and gets around.”

A certificate of thanks and honor from the clinic to Wildman states: “We have honored you for all the hard work in volunteering at the clinic and for our veterans. We have submitted your name to be placed on the Heroes Wall Honored Forever.”

Christina Hood, operations manager at the clinic, said the clinic had never had a volunteer prior to Wildman offering his services. After getting the OK from the VA, Wildman was able to start right away and comes two to three times a week, she said.

“He is a pleasure to be around. He helps in the busy areas like the lab and podiatry. He helps veterans with their wheelchairs. … We wanted to do something nice for him. He’s very much appreciated. We’re very glad he’s here,” Hood said.

Hood said the VA also had a photo of Wildman taken that hangs in the clinic lobby. On the photo is a quote from Wildman: “When I got my draft notice, it was fine with me. I didn’t run away and hide. A lot of guys I knew jumped in college and did everything they could to avoid service. I’m proud of what I did, that I defended our country.”

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