Lufkin man weathers heat to show patriotism

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - By Holley Nees - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – He spends hours every day showing his patriotism and waving to everyone that drives by.

Seven days a week he makes the one-and-a-half-mile trek just to be friendly.

"The people they come by, waving and blowing and it's just something nice to do. It gets me out of the house," said Paul Ward.

It takes Ward about half an hour to get to his spot underneath this shade tree on the corner of Paul Street and the loop. Then, the 69-year-old veteran spends two hours year 'round waving and showing his patriotism.

"This is our country and it's great and I respect it and I like everybody to respect it," said Ward.

A former military policeman, he says he's seen it all. But he has a favorite sight.

"That's a city boy, he's always blowing at me when he comes by," said Ward.

Cars driving by waving back. He says the kindness of others reminds him to return each day.

"Lord yeah, they bring me a piece of pie. One lady, she gave me a piece of coconut I couldn't wait to get home to eat. I just sit right here to eat it, it was real nice of the lady," said Ward "She asked if I was a veteran. She says you mind if I hug your neck? I thought, we'll no m'am I don't. She hugged my neck and at least it means something to some people that I'm here."

A heat stroke put Ward in a wheelchair 10 years ago, but it hasn't slowed him down much. His brother checks up on him, but says he doesn't worry about Ward because this is the highlight of his day. This is Ward's spot and he doesn't plan on giving it up any time soon.

"No m'am, I don't plan on stopping. I'll be here, try to every day," said Ward.

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