Army Veteran Found His Purpose After Surviving Heart Attack

He goes out on Tuesdays and Thursdays, rain or shine, to feed the hungry and the homeless in his community.
Andrew Thomas August 29, 2018

A brush with death undoubtedly leads a person to reassess his or her life. In this man’s case, he didn’t understand why he had survived—until he got a message that made it clear what he had to do.

Walter Clemons is 63 years old and a heart-attack survivor. In 2016, the U.S. Army veteran had been experiencing heart problems and was scheduled to undergo surgery.

On November 22, 2016, Clemons was being prepped for his operation.

Suddenly, Clemons suffered a heart attack. Fortunately, he was already at the hospital and survived.

“God had me in the right place at the right time,” Clemons told Humanity.

Clemons felt lucky. Friends of his had recently passed away, and he wondered why his life had been spared.

During Clemons’ recovery, he says God spoke to him.

“That’s when he told me. He wanted me to feed his people,” Clemons recalled.

At first, Clemons didn’t know if God meant feed his people spiritually or literally.

Clemons’ mother had taught him and his brothers how to cook, and that’s when he realized his mission would become feeding the hungry in his community in Wichita, Kansas.

(Courtesy of Walter Clemons)

He felt relieved when God spoke to him because he believed there was a reason his life had been saved.

Clemons started a one-man ministry in February 2017. He serves a variety of soup in Wichita’s more poverty-stricken neighborhoods. He is known as the “Soup Guy” on the street.

He goes out on Tuesdays and Thursdays, rain or shine, to feed the hungry and the homeless, making three stops on South Broadway. He often feeds between 100 and 125 people twice a week. 

Clemons’ soup stand is funded completely by donations, and the soup is free.

He serves chicken and rice, chicken noodle, vegetable soup, chili, beans and rice, and a three bean soup. Many of the recipes are from his brother Jesse, who is a retired chef.

Clemons is grateful to be alive, and takes no credit for his good deeds.

(Courtesy of Walter Clemons)

“I consider myself blessed. God has blessed me to have a roof over my head. Heat in the winter time, air conditioning in the summer, and food on my table,” Clemons explained.

He sees the adversity the hungry and homeless residents of Wichita have to contend with, and feels obligated to help.

Some of these people haven’t had a meal for days.

(Courtesy of Walter Clemons)

“This is the least I can do for somebody else that is hurting,” Clemons said.

Not only are the hungry and homeless appreciative, the community also supports his efforts.

“I get no negative responses to it. None whatsoever. When the people come up to give me donations, all they can tell me is that they thank me for what I’m doing.”