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February 16, 2014

Good Deeds: Veteran volunteers to give back to others

The way James Chitty sees it, he’s in good shape, doesn’t need money and doesn’t want to sit at home.

The way James Chitty sees it, he’s in good shape, doesn’t need money and doesn’t want to sit at home.

So four days a week, the 92-year-old World War II Army veteran and former history teacher and aircraft worker goes to the Robert J. Dole Veterans Administration Medical Center in Wichita, where he escorts veterans through the endless maze of hallways, offices and departments.

“I figure I owe something to the veterans,” Chitty said.

He said he earned his combat infantry badge during the summer of 1944, arriving on Omaha Beach a month after D-Day.

He has volunteered at the VA since 1989.

“I get more out of volunteering than I receive,” Chitty said.

Chitty knows he’s small – barely 5-foot-6 and tipping the scales at 140 pounds. But he also knows he often gives confidence to people bigger – and younger – than him.

“I get somebody in one of these double-wheelchairs and when they ask me if I can handle them, I just look at them in the eye and say, ‘I’ve handled bigger than you.’ ”

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