These are the words from John Wayne Walding during my interview with him today. John could have given up many times, but he has not. He served in the United States Army for 12 years with seven of those years being in the 3rd Special Forces Group, completing tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. Despite losing his lower right leg while serving overseas, Walding was the first amputee to graduate Special Forces Sniper School. Like I said the man never gives up.
Walding recently won Crown Royal’s annual “Your Hero’s Name Here” program, which awards naming rights to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the Brickyard in Indy. John nominated by his brother and from what John says, his brother could be more excited than Walding himself when they found out John won the naming rights to the race. For those keeping score at home the 2014 official name will be The Crown Royal Presents the John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com.
It may be a mouthful, but since Crown Royal has started tremendous program they feel that it is the least they could do. “The sacrifices that have been made by John Wayne Walding and countless heroes across the country serve as an inspiration to all of us at Crown Royal,” said Abby Wise, Brand Director for Crown Royal. “We’re excited to provide Walding a small token of our gratitude by renaming the NASCAR race at the famed Brickyard in his honor.”
I have had the great pleasure to cover the race for the past two years and in both instances I have seen the winner of each year’s race act the same way. They are humble. They are thankful. They are kind to everyone trying to talk to them about what they are experiencing. It is always a fantastic sight to see when the family members of the winner look on with pride and love. They see their hero be recognized for the many wonderful, courageous, and selfless acts they have done and still continue to do.
As NASCAR fans gear up to go to the Brickyard next month in Indy they will see John Wayne Walding’s name everywhere. They will at least get to know his name, but I hope they will learn more about this outstanding man that is a role model for our country. In my interview with John that you can listen to HERE you will get a jump start on those race fans. You will see why he was selected for this honor and why we need more guys like him around!
My last point about John that will make me remember him for a long time is when I thanked him for his service for our country. His reply, “You are worth it brother.” Like I stated earlier, we need more guys like John Wayne Walding around! Enjoy your time at the Brickyard John, you deserve it!