Slain teen remembered for work to honor fallen soldiers - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Slain teen remembered for work to honor fallen soldiers

Col. Charles Jones, Deputy Adjutant General for Kentucky, presents Dillon Walker with an Honorary Kentucky Guard certificate in recognition for his work in identifying fallen troops. (Source: David Altom, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs) Col. Charles Jones, Deputy Adjutant General for Kentucky, presents Dillon Walker with an Honorary Kentucky Guard certificate in recognition for his work in identifying fallen troops. (Source: David Altom, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs)
Dillon Walker found more than 60 potential names for the Kentucky National Guard Memorial in his high school research project. (Source: David Altom, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs) Dillon Walker found more than 60 potential names for the Kentucky National Guard Memorial in his high school research project. (Source: David Altom, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs)
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - When the Kentucky National Guard Memorial is finished, it will carry the names of hundreds of fallen soldiers to ensure they are not forgotten, but dozens of those names might never have been known if not for the work of Dillon Walker, the 18-year-old shot and killed on Routt Road Saturday.

[PREVIOUS STORY: Coroner identifies 18-year-old killed on Routt Road]

A spokesman for the Kentucky National Guard said Walker was named an honorary guardsman earlier this year after a high school research project to find the names of deceased guardsmen to be memorialized.

The spokesman, David Altom, who interviewed Walker for a story published in May, said that he was a hard-working young man who cared about public service. "He had a big future ahead of him," Altom said. 

This week Walker, who lived in Frankfort, was supposed to move into his room at Eastern Kentucky University, where he planned to study to become a pilot, Altom said.

Walker was the nephew of Master Sgt. Clinton Cubert, who died in 2006 of complications from injuries suffered when he was hit by an IED in Iraq. He was taken back to Kentucky for treatment so that he could be near his family. Walker, only 10 years old when his uncle died, told Altom that he remembered visiting him in the hospital and helping him with his physical therapy.

"He was a great man," Walker told Altom in the interview. "And he was a great soldier. I really looked up to him."

Police arrested a 17-year-old in connection with Walker's shooting. The teen, whose identity is not being released, is preliminarily charged with murder.

[PREVIOUS STORY: 17-year-old charged with murder after shooting on Routt Road]

Col. Charles Jones, Deputy Adjutant General for Kentucky, who presented Walker with the certificate which made him an honorary member of the Kentucky National Guard, said at the time, "Dillon's service to these fallen troops and their families reflects the honor of his uncle's legacy." Altom remembers that Walker's family was "gushing with pride" when he received the honor.

"We're so proud," Col. Jones said of Walker, "that a young person would take on such an important responsibility."

Asked about how he chose his project, Walker told Altom, "I figured this would be as good a way as any to give back."

Information from: Kentucky National Guard

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