School Veterans Day party reveals special friendship - | WBTV Charlotte

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School Veterans Day party reveals special friendship

3-year-old Travis Snead holding hands and walking his neighbor, World War II Veteran Wally Martin (Courtesy Deanna Snead) 3-year-old Travis Snead holding hands and walking his neighbor, World War II Veteran Wally Martin (Courtesy Deanna Snead)
(Photo courtesy Jennifer Camp and Monica Rover) (Photo courtesy Jennifer Camp and Monica Rover)
YORK COUNTY, SC (WBTV) -

We’ve seen some beautiful displays of appreciation for our Veterans Friday. But one email about a Veterans Day celebration stopped me in my tracks. It included a picture and brief description about a wonderful day and incredible friendship.

The photo was of 3-year-old Travis Snead holding hands and walking his neighbor, World War II Veteran Wally Martin. They were heading into Oakridge Elementary in Clover, South Carolina. 

Martin was the Snead family’s honored Veteran at the school’s big Veterans Day celebration.

“We met Wally last year when we heard he’d been in an accident. We went over to see if he needed any help, and that’s how the friendship started,” Travis’ mom, Deana Snead, told me by phone. “My son Derrick, who is 10-years-old, goes to Oakridge, and brought home the form for the Veterans Day program, and I thought we MUST bring Wally.”

When I called Wally Martin, he was almost speechless. He told he had a wonderful time with other Veterans at Oakridge Elementary, and he was stunned at what was currently happening in his yard. Deanna and her five kids were at his house.

MOBILE USERS: CLICK HERE FOR MORE PHOTOS OF THE SNEADS WITH MR. MARTIN AND OAKRIDGE'S VETERANS DAY CELEBRATION

“I’m overwhelmed by these little friends of mine and their mother,” Martin said. “They are getting the leaves out of my yard. It’s remarkable. This lady’s children have been really kind to me.” I could hear the smile in the 88-year-old's voice as we spoke.

Veteran Martin was among many honored for their sacrifice and service today at Oakridge Elementary. I spoke with the school’s principal who was proud of her staff, and her students.

“They did a phenomenal job,” Lori Maczko said of the day. “It was really a team effort and I hope it was a really special day for our Veterans.”

You can see in the photos Oakridge Elementary shared with us, it was a special day for everyone who attended!

As for the Sneads and their buddy Wally Martin, this is obviously a friendship that gives the Veteran a sense of family when his family is so far away, and it teaches a lesson in gratitude for our Veterans to her kids! 

Thank you, Deanna, for sharing your special friendship with us. 

And Mr. Martin - and all the Veterans who served and those still putting their lives on the line for our country - thank you so much for your service!

Happy Veterans Day.

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