11/06/06 — NAACP-sponsored event will honor county vets

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NAACP-sponsored event will honor county vets

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on November 6, 2006 1:45 PM

Fourth Fighter Wing Mission Support Group commander Col. Russell Walden will be the keynote speaker Saturday as the Goldsboro-Wayne branch of the NAACP Armed Service and Veterans Affairs Committee hosts its annual Veterans Recognition Program.

The event, slated for a 3 p.m. start, is free and open to the public and will be held at the Dillard Alumni H.V. Brown Hall on Poplar Street.

Planners have extended invitations to several local groups, including the Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 657, Wayne County Veterans and Patriots Coalition, Disabled American Veterans Chapter No. 45, American Legion Post No. 11, Buffalo Soldiers-555 PIA Inc. and the Tuskegee Airmen.

The program, now in its third year, is a way to pay tribute and give back to those individuals who have served in the armed forces, they added, and it is anticipated that Walden and the others who turn out for the event will do just that.

As commander of the 4th MSG, Walden is responsible for the leadership and management of civil engineering, security and law enforcement, transportation, personnel, food services, housing and much more on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

Before his stint in Goldsboro began this summer, Walden enjoyed a 20-plus year career in uniform that has included nearly 4,000 hours in the cockpits of both the F-16 A/C and T-33 A and assignments in Europe, Asia and both sides of the United States.

He has commanded fighter squadrons, trained pilots and been the recipient of several awards and decorations -- the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Force Achievement Medal, Combat Readiness medal with three oak leaf clusters, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Korean War Defense Service Medal, to name a few.

Those who wish to attend the event or need additional information are asked to call event planners at 919-734-6120.