‘I wasn’t a hero, but I was a survivor’: City of Huntington names day after 98-year-old veteran

Published: Nov. 10, 2023 at 2:45 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 10, 2023 at 7:43 PM CST
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HUNTINGTON, Texas (KLTV) - For 28 years, the City of Huntington has put on a Veterans Day celebration.

Huntington High School serves as a place for the community to show thanks and appreciation for those who have served. Huntington High School teacher and Veterans Day coordinator J’Nelle Short said she couldn’t imagine not honoring veterans for their service.

“I’m one of those old-fashioned people that I love my country. I think it’s so important for our students to see that, to recognize these veterans and to learn their stories,” said Short.

Short said this year’s celebration was a little more special because it honors hometown hero Corporal Dorsey Walker.

“Well, we found out a few months ago that Dorsey Walker was one of the oldest survivors of Iwo Jima, and we thought, you know what, he’s ours. He’s a Huntington boy, and we know his story, and there’s no way we’re going to let this go by without honoring his great accomplishments,” said Short.

Walker is a 1942 Huntington High School graduate who served in the United States Marine Corp from 1943 to 1945.

Walker said after Iwo Jima, the city’s acknowledgement is something he never thought he’d live to see.

“It’s hard to describe, you know. I’m kind of an emotional person anyway, and I never dreamed of anything like this,” said Walker.

Walker was presented with sand from Iwo Jima by the USMC, two American flags that were respectively flown over the U.S. and State Capitol by Congressman Pete Sessions and Texas Representative Trent Ashby.

Walker says in the midst of the recognition, being a survivor is a challenge.

“I really tried to forget about it, to tell you the truth. I can bring it back, but I’ll push it back away again. It’s something that’s just indescribable,” said Walker.

Huntington Mayor Todd Ricks took the celebration a step further by presenting Walker with a proclamation that names Nov. 10 Dorsey Walker Day in the City of Huntington.

117 veterans were in attendance.

“I wasn’t a hero, but I was a survivor,” Walker said. “Thank the Lord for that.”

Dorsey Walker is a USMC veteran who, at 98 years old, is one of the oldest living survivors of Iwo Jima in the United States.