Walker to speak at Memorial Day event

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 20, 2005

The plans continue to fall into place for the upcoming Memorial Day Celebration. The event, which is being sponsored by the Greenville Lions Club, is slated to kick off mid-morning on Monday, May 30, with live music in Confederate Park.

A special program with prayer, patriotic music and

speakers will follow at 11 a.m., with several military plane flyovers also planned that morning.

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Lion Gene Hardin announced Monday at the Lions meeting the featured speaker for the event will be Alabama Homeland Security Director, James M. Walker, Jr.

Director Walker was born in Ft. Benning, Georgia, the son of a career Army officer father and school teacher mother.

His youth was spent moving from Army base to Army base in the southeastern U.S.

A business graduate of Austin Peay State University, Director Walker also holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma.

He served in the Army from 1981-2002, retiring as a lieutenant colonel. An Infantry officer and Airborne Ranger, Director Walker served in both the 25th Infantry Division and the 101st Airborne Division.

His additional military assignments included service as aide-de-camp to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, operations briefer to General Powell during Operation Desert Shield, aide to President Ronald Reagan, and congressional fellow and legislative assistant to Congressman John Tanner (D-Tenn.) who was a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee.

After retiring from the Army, Director Walker worked in Washington, D.C. as a strategic consultant for a Houston-based company. In this capacity, his legislative specialties included defense, transportation and homeland security issues. He has served in his present position since his appointment by Governor Riley on January 20, 2003.

&uot;Senator Wendell Mitchell, who will also be present and share a few words with us that day, was a great help in getting it arranged for Mr. Walker to come and speak to us.

We certainly do appreciate the senator’s assistance,&uot; said Hardin.

&uot;I have heard the security director speak on the radio before, and I was very impressed with him. I think we have the makings of an excellent Memorial Day program,&uot; commented Lion Herbert Morton, who is heading up the Memorial Day Celebration committee.