Veteran receives Thank You from Community

| November 2, 2015
WCTV Photo

WCTV Photo

VALDOSTA — Winnersville meant more than football for a wounded warrior and his family.  It meant home.

Thanks to efforts by local area citizens, especially Wilson Design and Construction, a soldier and his family will have a new home.

Sgt. First Class Willie Walden, Jr. of the U.S. Army was presented a custom-built home by members of Operation Finally Home, a non-profit that teams up with local contractors to design and build custom homes for deserving families.  By the way, when completed, it’ll be mortgage-free.

“It doesn’t feel real right now,” Walden said as he and his family were presented the gift as a surprise on the 50-yard line of Martin Stadium during the Winnersville Classic on Friday.

Walden and his family thought they were part of a special military recognition ceremony, but it was much more than just recognition.  It was thanks for his service and dedication.

Walden was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, and honored as a hero for his service on the battlefield.  He stated he recalls many of his friends who never returned, and believes this honor is also for them.

Wilson Design and Construction’s owner Todd Wilson said he knew the Waldens were a perfect family to honor with this gift.

“We knew immediately that this was the family that we wanted to build a house for,” Wilson said in a WCTV interview.  He agreed with Walden that this helps thank those who never made it home.

According to Operation Finally Home’s Lee Kirgan, the project will begin in two weeks with another ceremony given when the keys are turned over to their deserving new owners.


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