Tupelo Winner - Covering the Community 2020

CAIRO- Vietnam veteran Keith Walls sustained serious injuries serving his country, and the folks at Reed’s Metals in Tupelo were happy to do him a service back this Christmas season. 

“This is a total shock to me, a blessing, and I’m so grateful,” said an emotional Walls sitting in his home in the Cairo community in Pontotoc County. Outside workmen with Shawn Presley Contracting measured, hoisted, and riveted, installing a handsome new metal roof onto Walls’ home. The four men worked efficiently and smoothly, and God blessed them with good working weather on Dec. 17. Each seemed more than happy to serve a serviceman. 

Reed’s office manager Lindsay Whitlock was onsite to thank the workers and to share a few words of appreciation and congratulations with Walls.

“You’ve sacrificed a lot, and we appreciate you tremendously,” Whitlock told Walls, who served as a Lance Corporal in the Marines. Among other injuries, he lost part of his lower leg fighting in Khe Sanh, Vietnam in 1968. 

Each year Reed’s selects one local person to receive a new roof, according to Whitlock. One of Walls’ children submitted an essay about the veteran to the company’s website, and Reed’s personnel chose from numerous entries. 

Presley and his men repaired exposed and rotten rafters and fascia-boarding then installed 20-some-odd sheets of 26 gauge metal roofing, coving around 1,200 square feet. 

The roof should be good for 45 years, Presley said. 

Walls was still recovering from a quadruple bypass operation. He was not, at the moment, physically strong, but a sharp Marine toughness showed in his jaw-line and around his eye. He wore a patch over the other eye. Today his eye was bright with gratitude and love, and his voice cracked a little as he thanked everyone effusively, and walked outside to admire his new roof.

“This means the world,” Walls said. “It’s a blessing.”


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