Disabled Vietnam Veteran Confined To House, Thieves Steal Only Transportation

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TUSCUMBIA, Ala. (WHNT) - A disabled Shoals man has no way to get around his home after thieves stole his only transportation.

Doug Gilliam says living along the Tennessee River is his dream, but with the beauty, comes steep banks.  Gilliam's health is declining and it's a challenge to get around.  So Gilliam used a Q-Link Frontrunner 500 to navigate his own yard.

“He can't walk up this hill, his legs won’t let him and his lungs won’t let him either,” said the victim’s wife, Cheronda Gilliam.

Thieves stole the silver Frontrunner and a hauling trailer right off Gilliam's property, on Sunday, November 11th, 2012 -- Veteran's Day.

As a serviceman in the Vietnam War himself, Gilliam's family says the timing of the theft hits hard.

“When he realized, that my gosh it was Veteran's Day, that was like a blow to the gut to him,” said Gilliam.

For this family, the Frontrunner is more than a toy, it's a necessity.

“It`s the most disgusting and disrespectful move I’ve seen yet, to this day,” said Gilliam’s stepdaughter, Erica Griffin.

As the water from the Tennessee River glimmers in the distance, Doug Gilliam can only look on from his deck.  And the man's wife and stepdaughter say they are looking for a glimmer of hope.  They hope someone will notice the ATV and give it back, so the disabled man can get his independence back.

“He may not seem like it bothers him too much, just to save his family from the pain, but he hasn`t made it past the driveway,” said Griffin.  “He`s basically a prisoner in his own home.”

The Tuscumbia Police Department is investigating this case.  If you have any information about where the stolen items may be, please call the Shoals Area Crime Stoppers Tipline at 256-386-8685 or the Tuscumbia Police Department at (256) 383-3121.

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