Steve Walden, a 1965 graduate of North Platte High School, will be in North Platte Sunday Dec. 2 to share experiences with Hurricane Sandy on the East Coast. Walden will speak at the morning worship service at Berean Church 202 W. 8th at 11 a.m.
Walden and wife Marilyn live in Linden N.J., where they work with immigrant communities in Staten Island, Brighton Beach and Long Island.
They represent the organization Slavic Missionary Service. Walden speaks Russian, Italian and sings like Johnny Cash, according to his friends. He and his guitar are often found on the boardwalks of the communities.
Their home is south of Newark. He and his wife were without electrical power for five days in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, but they had laid in supplies. As soon as possible after the storm, he made his way through the maze of downed trees to reach others.
The devastation of the 14-foot ocean surge was incredible. Only days before, Walden helped an older man move to another apartment; unfortunately the man lost everything in the hurricane. But, with gifts from others, “we were able to help him get some basics," Welden said. "I helped him clean the destroyed stuff out of his place and on to the street."
“I have never seen so much destruction in one area, including my experience as a soldier in Vietnam,” Walden said.
Hurricane Sandy caused approximately $29.4 billion in damages to New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie said Friday. For photos of the devastation, see NJ.com HERE.
Walden will talk about his other work, including travels to Israel in recent years.
Walden will also speak at 6:45 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5 at Broken Bow Berean Church (604 South H St.)