September 16, 2008 (MOOSEHEART, IL)
Walt Peters, 64, a Vietnam Veteran and member of Moose lodge 1550 in Savannah, Georgia is a hero to many people whose lives he has touched, especially U.S. soldiers. Now his heroic efforts will be recognized before an international audience when he is featured as a CNN Hero on September 19 and 20.
Walt Peters was nominated for the CNN Hero segment by Moose International for his ongoing efforts to ensure that every single soldier receives a warm welcome and a heartfelt goodbye as they pass through Savannah’s Hunter Army Airfield base.
“Walt Peters is relentless is his efforts to make our soldiers understand that they are not alone. I can’t think of a better, more deserving person for the CNN Heroes segment,” said Bill Airey, Director General, Moose International. “The Moose organization is honored to have Walt as one of our members. We encourage all our members and lodges across the nation to tune into segment this week,” he added.
The CNN Heroes segment will air during the following timeframes (all EST) on the following dates barring breaking news or a change in schedule beyond CNN’s control. Also, the profile video, story and online video pieces will be going up this Thursday, 9/18 on the main CNN Heroes website www.CNN.com/Heroes
Friday, September 19
CNN USA: 8-9a, 11a-12p
Headline News: 7:30-8a, 2:30-3p, 5-6p
CNN International: 2a, 7a, 12p, 8p
Saturday, September 20
CNN USA: 11a-12p, 5-6p
About Walt Peters
Retired 1st Class Sgt Walt Peters hasn’t missed a hello or goodbye. Walt has been the last person thousands of 3rd Infantry Division troops shake hands with before they got on the plane being airlifted out of Savannah’s Hunter Army Airfield base and the first person they see when they return. Although Walt may be the first person they see, Walt can only hear their shouts of joy to be home. Walt has diabetes and is blind.
For the past three years, multiple times a week, Walt Peters has said hello and goodbye to nearly 50,000 soldiers. Working through the Moose lodge and the Savannah Chapter of the American Red Cross, Walt has had the privilege of welcoming home soldiers to whom he said goodbye to a year before. And, sadly there’s been a few he’s bid farewell to, who haven’t returned.
And despite his diabetes and blindness, Walt gets out of bed at any hour of the day or night to make sure he is at the Hunter Airfield base departure center the required three-hours-in-advance.
According to Walt Peters, he is most proud of his work meeting and greeting soldiers. He brings each soldier a flag and as they board the plane he shakes their hands and always says “bring me back the flag.” His pride is in these soldiers. However, he always asks himself..which one will not come home.
In addition to his work with the soldiers, he is actively involved in the Moose fraternal organization in Savannah. He is currently organizing an effort to fundraise for a fellow Savannah Moose member whose home was destroyed in the tornado that hit Savannah a few months ago.
Walt also organizes ongoing fundraisers for Mooseheart. Walt’s talents include a stint as a professional guitarist and producing concerts for Reba McEntire, Conway Twitty, Eddie Rabbitt, and The Beach Boys. While stationed in Hawaii, his talents were discovered and he formed “Ramblin’ Country.” He even brought on a Texan who could play rhythm guitar -- George Strait, kept the band going and earned a B.A. in engineering. Walt’s career alternated between playing music and producing it in Nashville and all over the world