Del City Veteran Still Serving His Fellow Vets

Wednesday, November 11th 2020, 6:50 pm

DEL CITY, Okla. -

For Gordon Wheeler, being a veteran means having an extended family.

"When you're in the military, you don't have any family. Your family are the individuals you're serving with," Wheeler said.

After 22 years in the Air Force, Gordon is still serving, albeit on the ground now.

He works out of the Del City VFW and American Legion Post, as well as Veterans Corner in Norman.

He helps vets receive benefits they're entitled to from the Veterans Administration.

"It's mind-boggling to somebody the first time they sit down with all this paperwork. There's eight pages of instruction before you ever write your name down," Wheeler said.

Gordon's work falls under the pay-it-forward category. Years ago, another vet showed him how to file for benefits for his exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam.

Mr. Wheeler's work has garnered national attention. He was recently honored by the VFW's Still Serving campaign, which honors veterans that have never stopped serving their country.

"It makes me smile; it makes you feel good that other people recognize what you're doing," he said.

Gratitude and the smiles of those he helps are two of the currencies Gordon accepts for his voluntary work.

But this mission Gordon has taken on, it's personal.

"Quite a long time ago, my grandson asked my wife one day, how come, I get a little emotional on this one, 'Why does grandpa go down to Norman all the time?' My wife said, 'It's his therapy.' Because I can sit there and talk with people I've been where they've been, they've been where I've been. It's therapeutic to me," Wheeler said.