Fundraiser Planned for Critically Injured Soldier who Trained in North Alabama

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DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) - As we celebrate the Fourth of July, members of the local Veterans of Foreign Wars in Morgan County have heavy hearts, planning a big event for one soldier in particular: Sgt. Christopher Walker.  He's a 28 year old who has nothing left to give his country, after serving in Afghanistan.

On April 27th, Walker was disarming a bomb in Afghanistan.

"The bomb exploded," said John Mays of Decatur.  "He lost both of his arms above the elbow, he lost his left leg all the way at the groin.  He had the left side of his face torn off and a large piece of shrapnel went through one of his lungs."

Mays, a defense attorney in Decatur, knows about it because he says his son-in-law was one of several soldiers standing nearby and was spared injury, since Walker took the brunt of the explosion.

Mays' daughter called him asking if there was anything the VFW could do to help Walker adjust to his new normal.

"Whenever we see a veteran in need, we try to help," said Mays.  "We're talking about a young man who doesn't have anything left to give his country."

Mays went to his brethren at VFW Post 4190.

"We're gonna try to do the biggest thing we've done," said Larry Sepanski, Commander of VFW Post 4190.

The VFW is organizing a day of fun to raise $40,000 to make Walker's home handicapped accessible, provide him a wheelchair, and maybe even a service dog, who could show Walker the unconditional love he showed his country.

Sepanksi recalled when he joined the US Army and served during the Korean War and compared it to Walker's situation.

"When I was in Korea and stuff, I was one that was drafted," he said.  "I went over and I did what I had to do, but he joined.  He volunteered to go do these things to protect us so we got the freedom we got now.

Walker, who trained in Huntsville and was deployed to Afghanistan from Huntsville, may not be financially or physically able to see the fun planned in his honor on August 25th.

Sheree Brown is chairing the event.  She's a member of the Ladies Auxiliary of VFW Post 4190.  She's planning the activities for the day.

"The Dunkin Booth, and slip-and-slides and just fun things for the kids," Brown said.  "We've got a lot of wonderful kids in this community, we want to bring them out and do fun things with them, get the parents involved.  we're gonna have a colossal yard sale."

Walker will certainly get the message that North Alabama respects and appreciates his sacrifices.  Representative Terri Collins of Decatur put it this way:

"It just makes me smile to think that that's the kind of people we have around this area, that will support veterans."
 
The event will be August 25th from noon to 4pm at the VFW Hall on Veterans Drive in Decatur.

If you'd like to contribute to the cause or help with the event, call the chairperson at 256-654-4718.