MS Strong: Dewayne Williams

Updated: Aug. 2, 2018 at 10:15 PM CDT
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BENTON, MS (WLBT) - I probably need to call Dewayne Williams by his nickname, Booger that's what all of his friends know him by.

"Mister Wilber Harpole, a guy I went to church with when I was just a toddler, said I was a tough little booger," said Dewayne.

Well, Mr. Harpole probably didn't know the half of it. Because it took being tough to go through what Dewayne, Booger, has gone through since 2016. He had been in the National Guard for 17 and a half years. Deployed five times and was on his way home early one morning.

"I was on Camp Shelby and was driving home and a deer run out in front of me and that's the last thing I remember," said Dewayne.

His wife, Canon, got the call from the trauma nurse at the Hattiesburg hospital.

"And she was going through everything that was going on with him," said Canon. Which to me was way beyond my head. And she told me, he may have 30 minutes or he may have an hour."

For someone who wasn't expected to live, life is a gift now for Booger. But things have changed. No more military career, scars, and in a wheel chair. But instead of letting the wreck and seven months in the hospital define his life, he's taken hold and redefined it.

Well for instance, he owns his own business now, repairing and making custom guns.

"I'm a gunsmith full time," added Dewayne. "I also coach the shooting team at Manchester Academy."

From not being expected to live for quite a while after the wreck to running a business a few years later, is way more than was expected. How did he do it? "At the time I had two small boys that needed a father, a wife that needed a husband and I couldn't quit. Canon adds, "Since his accident we've become a great team we're a lot closer as a family and we do everything together."

And a final word of advice for anyone who has had a traumatic experience or is just trying to cope with everyday life.

"Don't give up!" said Dewayne.

If we were making a list of characteristics of what makes up being Mississippi Strong, that advice, "Don't give up!" would have to top the list.

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