2008 Regular Session
By: The Entire Membership
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION COMMENDING THE LIFE AND MILITARY CAREER OF DECORATED WORLD WAR II VETERAN GENERAL EMMETT H. "MICKEY" WALKER, JR., AND EXPRESSING THE DEEPEST SYMPATHY OF THE MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE TO HIS FAMILY AND FRIENDS UPON HIS PASSING.
WHEREAS, retired General Emmett H. "Mickey" Walker, Jr., of Jackson, Mississippi, a decorated World War II veteran who later served as Chief of the National Guard Bureau in Washington, D.C., during the Reagan administration, died Wednesday, December 12, 2007, at age 83; and
WHEREAS, General Walker, born in the Abbott Community of Clay County, Mississippi, on March 16, 1924, to Mae Stanley Walker and Emmett Hudson Walker, Sr., spent 42 years in uniform during a military career that took him from foreign battlefields to Washington, D.C., having begun his military career December 15, 1942, in the Enlisted Reserve Corps; and
WHEREAS, commissioned as a second lieutenant by the Infantry Officer Candidate School in May 1944, his first assignment as an officer was with the 42nd Infantry "Rainbow" Division, Camp Gruber, Oklahoma, and shortly thereafter was ordered overseas and assigned to the 95th Infantry Division in Northern France; and
WHEREAS, as a Platoon Leader, Cannon Company, 378th Infantry, during World War II, General Walker braved enemy fire during the Battle of Metz in France, the Siegfried Line, the Battle of the Bulge and the Rhineland Campaign; and
WHEREAS, it was during this time of combat that he was offered an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, but declined, feeling that his country and men were better served by his remaining with them in battle, a decision that proved to be of great importance nine days later in an action for which he earned the Silver Star for gallantry beyond the call of duty and again on April 14, 1945, when he earned the Bronze Star for valor; and
WHEREAS, after returning to the United States, Walker climbed the military ranks and was Assistant Adjutant General for the Mississippi National Guard from 1972 to 1976; and
WHEREAS, as Chief of the National Guard Bureau under President Reagan from 1982 to 1986, General Walker worked closely with his friend, the late Representative G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery, in crafting and lobbying passage of the 1984 Montgomery GI Bill, which increased educational and other benefits for soldiers and gave a needed recruiting boost to the all-voluntary military; and
WHEREAS, Major General Harold A. Cross, Mississippi's Adjutant General, said in an e-mail from Iraq that Walker "was a true champion for the National Guard and dedicated his life to serving the State of Mississippi and the nation. He was a soldier's soldier in every respect. He meant a great deal to all of us and will be dearly missed by every soldier and airman in the Mississippi National Guard"; and
WHEREAS, after retiring, the Jackson resident was promoted to full General by the State of Mississippi and turned his energy toward preserving history, serving as the driving force in establishing the Mississippi Armed Forces Museum at Camp Shelby near Hattiesburg, Mississippi, which was later dedicated in his honor; and
WHEREAS, General Walker was quoted in a 2005 interview with The Associated Press that it was "important to preserve history so that future generations never forget the sacrifices and struggles that shaped Mississippi, the United States and the rest of the world"; and
WHEREAS, General Walker was just one of more than 100,000 soldiers who trained at the sprawling 136,000-acre Camp Shelby base during World War II, and the nearly 50,000 soldiers that have trained there since 2004 for missions in Iraq and Afghanistan; and
WHEREAS, General Walker remained active after his retirement, serving as President of the Agriculture Museum's Board of Directors and offering advice to those in state government; and
WHEREAS, lauded with decorations and commendations including, but not limited to: the Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Army Distinguished Service Medal, Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, National Guard Bureau Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Legion of Merit (two awards), Bronze Star (two awards and "V" Device), Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, the Combat Infantryman's Badge, and named in his honor, the LTG Emmett H. Walker, Jr., Mississippi Army National Guard Complex and the Jackson Chapter of the Military Order of World Wars; and
WHEREAS, General Walker, whose wife, Elizabeth "Tuta" Walker, passed away in November 2006, is survived by daughters: Ann Walker Sansbury, Wyeth Walker Curtis and Kathryn Walker Senseman; son, John Stanley Walker; twelve grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and a host of other relatives and friends; and
WHEREAS, General Mickey Walker was a general officer of great rank and prestige, but he was charismatic with all soldiers and Mississippians, and it is with sadness that we note the passing of this citizen-soldier whose career has had a lasting effect on our nation and the State of Mississippi:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE SENATE CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend the life and 42-year military career of decorated World War II veteran, Retired Lieutenant General Emmett H. "Mickey" Walker, Jr., of Jackson, Mississippi, and extend deepest sympathy to his family and friends upon his passing.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be furnished to the family of General Walker, the Mississippi Adjutant General and to the members of the Capitol Press Corps.