BROWNSTOWN, Cambria County — A Pennsylvania Vietnam veteran is trying to raise money — for his own funeral.
Now the veteran, who is suffering from terminal cancer, is getting some help from two young men who met him at one of his garage sales.
Willie Davis, a Brownstown resident, has been setting up his blue canopy and selling his possessions at a yard sale. Last month, David Dunkelberger was one of his customers.
“At the end, when we bought a few things, he said to me, ‘If you know of anybody else interested, I’m trying to sell all my stuff to pay for a funeral,'” Dunkleberger said. “And when I said, ‘Whose funeral?’ He said, ‘Mine.'”
That didn’t sit well with Dunkelberger, so he went back to his car to tell his friend, Ed Sheets, about it.
“It broke your heart, hearing the story,” said Sheets. “And we just decided to do something to try and help him, try to make his life a little bit easier.”
So Sheets and Dunkleberger launched a GoFundMe campaign to help raise money for Davis, a Navy veteran who served for six years during the Vietnam War, starting in 1970.
Davis suffers from a terminal case of Stage 4 squamous cell carcinoma.
The GoFundMe page set up by Sheets and Dunkleberger stated its goal is to raise $5,000 for Davis.
“He’s done a lot serving our country, so we wanted to kind of return the favor to him so that, again, his last days could be a little less hectic, a little more peaceful for him,” Sheets said.
Davis’ final wish is to be buried in a plot alongside his parents’ spot in Culpeper, Virginia.
“There’s a spot for him, obviously, and with that’s going to come some financial obstacles,” Dunkelberger said.
The costs of granting Davis’ final wish could cost up to $15,000.
Davis continues to set up his yard sale, even though he has been in and out of hospital and hospice care as his health declines.
“He tries to do them every weekend he’s able to do them,” said Sheets. “He just told us yesterday that when he sets it up, he actually sets it up Thursday to run it Friday and Saturday.”
If you’d like to help, go here for more information.