Who watched the CMT Awards show last night? There were lots of talented winners, but did you know one of them wasn’t a country star? Last night during the live show, Justin Moore the 2014 ACM New Artist of the Year, announced the winner of Crown Royal’s “Your Hero’s Name Here” program. This year’s winner is Green Beret John Wayne Walding from Little Elm, TX, a highly decorated Army veteran. His 12 years of service include tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. This July, Walding will attend his first NASCAR race, the Crown Royal Presents the John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com!
In 2008, Walding was involved in a fire fight overseas during a mission to capture a high value target. During the course of the mission, he lost the lower part of his right leg. He recovered from his injury and went on to become the first amputee to graduate the Special Forces Sniper School. Within 12 months of the accident, Walding completed the Army 10 miler on foot and the 2009 Boston Marathon utilizing a hand cycle. The courageous Army vet has been awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Combat Infantry Badge.
“The sacrifices that have been made by John Wayne Walding and countless heroes across the country serve as an inspiration to all of us at Crown Royal,” said Abby Wise, Brand Director for Crown Royal. “We’re excited to provide Walding a small token of our gratitude by renaming the NASCAR race at the famed Brickyard in his honor.”
John Wayne currently lives in Little Elm with his wife and four children. He’s the founder of Five Toes Custom, a company that builds handcrafted precision rifles. He started the company after searching for direction, and he employs wounded veterans in an effort to provide support and direction within their lives. He was nominated by his brother for his efforts in continued support of service men and women.
“The fact that Crown Royal cares enough to say ‘thank you’ for what I’ve done is a true validation for my sacrifice,” said Walding following the unveil event. “The magnitude of those two words goes above and beyond.”
Justin Moore presented Walding with a custom-made Gibson guitar with the official Brickyard 400 logo incorporating Walding’s name and thanked him for his service during the CMT live broadcast.
“To be able to be involved in this program’s winner reveal event for the third year in a row is really special to me,” said Moore. “We’ve had the opportunity to meet so many amazing heroes over the years and are looking forward to honoring John Wayne at the Brickyard this summer.”
Crown Royal Brickyard 400: John Wayne Walding Brickyard 400 Gibson Guitar
On Sunday, July 27, John Wayne Walding will experience his first NASCAR race like a VIP as part of the grand-prize package. He’ll go behind the scenes with garage tours, enjoy pace car rides, and attend concerts by Big Machine Label Group artists. When the dust settles and the winner crosses the finish line, Walding will deliver the trophy bearing his name to the race winner in Victory Lane.
While raising a glass to the heroes in your life, Crown Royal reminds consumers to please drink responsibly.