Vietnam vet forced to wash dishes outside: ‘I feel like I’m in a third world country’

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by Sherry Williams / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on June 11, 2014 at 5:57 PM

THE WOODLANDS, Texas -- One day when John Kimmins' neighbor was walking her dog, she saw him washing dishes on the lawn. Turns out the house he paid cash for 10 years ago, had a major plumbing failure.

"Right under the two bathrooms the main drain that would go out to the sewer has collapsed," said Kimmins.

That means he cannot do anything inside that causes water to go down the drain. If he does, the water will back up and flood his home, which he shares with a roommate.

Kimmins often drives to a nearby Walmart to use the bathroom. He sometimes goes to a relative's home to shower. His neighbor learned all this and started trying to help, calling half a dozen social service agencies trying to get the $5,000 Kimmins' insurance won't cover for the repairs. She said none would help.

"I've made phone call after phone call after phone call. Like most people, I assumed there were plenty of things out there for him and that just wasn't the case," said Kimmins' neighbor Daphne Mair-Miley. "I think that's pathetic."

Kimmins said  he served in Vietnam. That makes the lack of assistance sting more.

"It's worse than when I was in Vietnam. I feel like I'm in a third world country. I feel like I'm a homeless vet now," said Kimmins.

Kimmins said  he hates having to ask for help, but he's grateful he has neighbors willing to give it.

His neighbor has also set up a fund to try to help Kimmins. Donations can be made at any Wells Fargo Bank under the account name:

BENEFIT OF JOHN KIMMINS    ACCOUNT NUMBER   873 214 6751

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