LAKELAND — Participants in Lakeland’s annual Warrior Walk find inspiration in demonstrating support for veterans, especially those who died during combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This year’s event — a 2.7-mile trek around Lake Hollingsworth — is scheduled for July 29, beginning with an 8 a.m. ceremony in front of First Presbyterian Church, 175 Lake Hollingsworth Drive.
All that’s required to participate is show up in time and wear comfortable shoes.
Organizers suggest wearing red, white and blue attire. Special commemorative T-shirts will be available for purchase on the day of the event, with proceeds supporting maintenance of Veterans Memorial Park on the west side of the RP Funding Center.
For the second consecutive year, the Warrior Walk is being hosted by the Lakeland-based Marvin Shields Seabee Battalion of the United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps. The nonprofit civilian training organization serves youths ages 10 through high school seniors.
The guest speaker for the opening ceremony is Shawn Sherrouse, an assistant city manager for Lakeland and a former Marine who served in Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
“The annual Warrior Walk event is conducted to remind those in our community of the terrible cost of the ‘war on terror’ and to never forget those who have paid that price,” said retired Air Force Col. Gary Clark, director of the Polk County Veterans Council, in an email. “Those who have not been called to serve directly in that war should demonstrate their appreciation and support for those who have.”
The Veterans Council serves as co-host of the event that includes a Color Guard presentation by cadets, who will be on hand throughout the morning to assist, clean up and pack away tables, chairs and other items. They’ll be joined by members of the Lakeland Police Department Explorer’s Program for youths.
“It really gives them a sense of responsibility,” said Anna Baker, executive officer of the Shields battalion.
For more information about Warrior Walk, visit http://www.usnscc-msb.com/lakelandwarriorwalk, or phone the veteran’s council at 863-602-0921.
Eric Pera can be reached at email@example.com or 863-802-7528.
Imperial Polk County Chapter of MOAA
PO Box 3911
Lakeland, FL 33802
Phone: 863 602-0921