Today was awesome! Our dear friends John Wayne Walding and his wife Amy Walding and their four fabulous children came over to spend a day in our home with us before they leave to go back to their home in Texas. We first met the Walding’s when John Wayne came to give a keynote talk at a dinner event at a big conference and my husband and I were blessed to be seated with him at his table. We knew within just a few minutes of talking with each other that John was a genuinely great guy. And when he gave his keynote talk that night we were blown away at his story – he was a Green Beret and fought in the Battle of Shok Valley where he lost his leg. His story is incredible and the talk he gave was one of the best I have ever heard, not just because it is a riveting story of how 12 Green Berets were ambushed by several hundred insurgents in Afghanistan and survived but also because he shares really inspirational life lessons he learned from all he has gone through that anyone would benefit from hearing, such as:
*Stop being good. Start being great!
*Be a part of something bigger than yourself
*Be Worth it
If any of you ever need a speaker to keynote at a conference I highly recommend contacting John at www.johnwaynewalding.com to try and book him to speak – he really does an incredible job speaking.
A few months later after our first meeting with John Wayne we were attending another event and this time John Wayne and his wife Amy were both in attendance – once again we ended up sitting with them for dinner. Now we already knew we liked John at this point but that night we absolutely fell in love with his wife Amy – she is one of those people who lights up the entire room with joy when she enters it. She is as sweet and genuine as can be. We came away from that night knowing our families were destined to be dear friends, and dear friends they are.
As we all spent the day in our home together I was so impressed when their children shared with us the three guiding principles they’d been taught they were to live their lives by:
1. Do The Right Thing
2. Work Hard
3. Help Others
3 simple principles that if followed will have a profound impact for good on this world. We would all do well to live by those principles and teach our children to do their same.
Incredible people the Walding family…so grateful to have them in our lives. Here’s a quick video about Shok Valley but its just a small part of an incredible story. Hopefully you’ll get the opportunity to hear it from John Wayne Walding himself someday!
~Amy Rees Anderson