Decorated veteran to speak at annual event


All U.S. veterans are invited to attend the Lake Country Neighbors 11th annual Veterans Thank You at the Lake Fork Baptist Church Tuesday, July 20. This has become a premier veteran celebration for the area. 

What started on a whim in 2010 with a hamburger and hot dog picnic in the Ruby McKeown Park in Emory has grown to be a patriotic celebration with a complimentary barbecue lunch served to more than 160 veterans and guests. It has been moved twice due to growth.

Lake Fork Baptist Church fellowship hall/gym is located at 9483 FM 515, Alba. 

The speaker will be the Sgt. 1st Class John Wayne Walding. Walding was born on the 4th of July. He spent 12 years in the US Army, seven in the prestigious 3rd Special Forces Group. 

He was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. During the battle of Shok Valley, he lost his right leg to sniper fire. He continued to fight alongside his brothers while wounded for four more hours. 

For his bravery in battle, Walding received the Silver Star Medal, the Bronze Star Medal and a Purple Heart. He was also awarded a Combat Infantry Badge, an Airborne Tab, Air Assault Tab and Special Forces Tab. 

LCN requests all veterans to join them for a patriotic, fun and informative event. Attendance for the meal is by reservation only. Email or call 903-268-7611 and reserve a spot now. 

If a veteran has not received an invitation before and wishes to be added to the list, email or call 903-268-7611. 

The general public is invited to hear the speaker in the sanctuary of Lake Fork Baptist beginning at 12:15 p.m. No reservation required.