It didn't start off as a vigil, but that was how it turned out.
Carolyn Feldkamp Woods, a classmate of , killed in action in Afgahnistan on Aug. 8, 2012, arranged to meet a couple of others classmates at the old Loganville High School campus. They had planned to set up a trust fund for the Gray's three children and just to meet up to collect some of the funds. But within a few hours it turned into a vigil in honor of an old school friend who, in the words of Woods, "gave his life for us."
A prayer, a moment of silence, and some shared memories ended up with a $1,500 start to the trust fund. Gray's brother, Ronnie, was in attendance as were many of his old school friends.
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends," read an emotional Bill Greene, a pastor at Sardis Baptist Church and fellow graduate of the LHS Class of 1992. "And Walter David Gray did just that. He laid down his life for his friends."
Woods and Greene shared some of the memories of Gray during his time at school - his smile that would light up a room, his artistic skills and the fact that he went on to become a great husband and father.
"This is to start a trust fund for his wife and three children, it's the least that we can do for them. We want to set up a separate trust fund for each of his three kids, and that's what we will do," Woods said, adding they were also collecting to send flowers to each of three funeral services that will be held.
Gray's body has already been returned to the U.S. according to his brother. Gray's wife received her husband's body at Dover Air Force Base on Friday. Gray will have a funeral in Colorado and will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery. There also will be a memorial service for him in his hometown, but details have not yet been finalized. Although it is listed as Conyers, Gray lived on Miller Bottom Road, in Walton County.
Details of the local memorial service, as well as the account details for the trust fund, will be published in Patch as soon as they are available.