GALLIPOLIS — Last year, retired Army 1st Sgt. Donald Walker and wife Jennifer Walker worked with the American Red Cross to send cards to active duty service members serving overseas.
This year, they will be collecting holiday cards for local heroes. With the help of many different school groups and individuals, they collected approximately 1,000 cards as part of last year’s efforts.
With VFW Post 4464’s help, the Walkers will be hand delivering the cards, and personally visiting with local men and women who have served with the nation’s defense forces.
The Walkers ask when writing out cards, please remember to thank the veterans for their service and wish them a Merry Christmas. Cards can be collected at Gallia Academy Middle School or sent to Ratliff Pool Center through Thursday.
Last year, Don Walker spoke with Gallia Academy Middle School students on Veterans Day about the importance of military members in society and endorsed the beginning of the holiday initiative in hopes of raising the spirits of veterans overseas.
“We tend to think about our military today in terms of things like fast jets, powerful ships, smart weapons like biometric technology, tanks and even the battle gear … But the most powerful resource supporting our armed forces is, and always will be, people — the people wearing the uniforms and the people who support them,” Walker previously said.
“We hope to sit and visit with the veterans as they read their cards,” said Jennifer.”Ultimately, our goal is to express gratitude while spreading a little Christmas cheer.”
Currently, both Don and Jennifer run a marketing business. Don served in the U.S. Army from 1990 to 2010. He served as a watercraft operator and two tours in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. During 2010 to 2014, he worked for the federal government in a civilian capacity. He returned to Gallipolis in 2014 to be with his wife, Jennifer Walker, and their son, Dylan Walker.