Military community draws veteran back
Michael Walls looked forward to attending the second annual Lawton/Southwest Oklahoma Stand Down so much he's been counting the days till it happened.
"I'm looking to see some people I know here," the Chicago native said. He also intended to look into what all the helping hand organizations had to offer in rooms throughout Centenary United Methodist Church.
"I want to experience what you all do, and I want to help, too. Whatever I get out of it, I want to turn around and give it back to someone else," he said.
Walls was a field artilleryman who rose to the rank of staff sergeant during his 17 years of service. He was stationed here when he got out and worked for a while as a corrections officer at the Comanche County Detention Center. Eventually he returned home to Chicago to care for his mother and his brother, both of whom have now passed on.
"I just recently returned here from Chicago," he said.
The military community here is what drew him back.
"Chicago is not a military community. And I'm used to the 'Hello, how ya doin'?' shake your hand, and that's not something in Chicago," Walls found.