Alabama honors its service members, retirees and families
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Redstone Arsenal Senior Commander Lt. Gen. Donnie Walker and Alabama Representative Howard Sanderford join Governor Kay Ivey as she declares Feb. 24 “Military Appreciation Day” in Ala. (Photo Credit: Megan Gully) VIEW ORIGINAL
Lt. Gen. Donnie Walker Alabama Legislative Session
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Lt. Gen. Donnie Walker, Redstone Arsenal senior commander, speaks to a Legislative Joint Session honoring Alabama’s service members, veterans and Department of Defense civilians in the State House Chamber. (Photo Credit: Megan Gully) VIEW ORIGINAL

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- An Alabama native and military officer thanked the state’s leadership for their support to the Armed Forces, veterans and families.

Lt. Gen. Donnie Walker, deputy commanding general to Army Materiel Command and Redstone Arsenal senior commander, accepted the state’s Military Appreciation Day Proclamation and spoke to the Alabama Legislature during a Joint Session, Feb. 24.

“I am so proud to be here, representing all our service members, veterans and families as Alabama once again pledges its support to our military,” said Walker on how Alabama is known across the nation as a military-friendly state. “I stand here today as proof of that legacy.”

The son of an Army veteran and an Army Civilian, Walker grew up in Lineville, Alabama, and said that Clay County is known as the county that produces volunteers.

“What makes this state so special is that is it not one family, one county or one region of the state that raises their right hand in defense of our nation, it is the whole state,” said Walker about the approximately 26,000 Alabamians serving in the military and the more than 377,000 veterans living in the state.

Alabama hosts five military installations across the state including Redstone Arsenal, Anniston Army Depot, Fort Rucker, Maxwell Air Force Base and the Coast Guard Aviation Training Center in Mobile.

“The best part of our story is the story of our people, those who currently wear the uniform, veterans, retirees, Department of Defense civilians and contractors, and their families,” he said. “Our people demonstrate the best qualities of this nation. They give their time, energy and brainpower to every mission they face and they are what make Alabama truly exceptional.”

While in Montgomery, Walker met with key Alabama lawmakers, members of the Military Stability Foundation and Alabama National Guard Assistant Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Jerry Martin.

Lt. Gen. Donnie Walker, Redstone Arsenal senior commander, speaks to a members of the Alabama Military Stability Foundation.
Lt. Gen. Donnie Walker, Redstone Arsenal senior commander, speaks to a members of the Alabama Military Stability Foundation. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

Prior to the joint session, the Alabama House of Representatives passed several military-friendly bills focused on improving quality of life for military members and their families. The bills will go to Alabama Governor Kay Ivey for signature and included assistance with military spouse licensing, advanced school enrollment for military children, and the establishment of a Space National Guard and Space JROTC program for high schools. These are part of 22 military-friendly bills the Alabama legislature has passed in the last two years.

“You never know the impact you have when a spouse can continue their career, or a child has an easy transition into their new school,” said Walker. “Please continue looking after our military families. It is one of the most important things we can do for our service members.”