Longtime Volunteer Makes Anticipated Return to Special Olympics

DSC_0288_1To say this volunteer is passionate about Special Olympics would be an understatement. Public Relations Officer, Walter J. Scott of the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office is a longtime volunteer who has dedicated his time to Special Olympics for over 10 years. It was no surprise to see him beaming with pride as he took part in the awards ceremonies of the 2014 Special Olympics NC Summer Games.

His journey with Special Olympics began when he was in the Army and stationed at Fort Bragg. Scott volunteered his time assisting his platoon sergeant in coordinating Fort Bragg’s involvement with Special Olympics. Year after year for eight years straight, he enjoyed his work with the athletes. Then he was deployed in the Gulf War. Unfortunately, he sustained serious injuries from his time in the service and was confined to a wheelchair for more than 10 years upon his return. This prevented him from volunteering with Special Olympics. However, he was determined to return to Special Olympics some day and in 2013, this became a reality. Walter Scott couldn’t be happier to take part in Special Olympics again, something that has always been close to his heart.

“If you see the effort that these athletes put into what they do it hits you in your heart and that’s why I love it so much because they give everything, some people just don’t understand what it takes. I know what it’s like to be on the receiving end. I laid on my back and was in a wheelchair for over 10 and half years so I know what it takes, it takes somebody that’s strong beside you.”

This time around, Scott is heavily involved in the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office Torch Run efforts. He is an even stronger supporter of Special Olympics now. He is especially moved by presenting athletes their awards.

“You take that medal and you put it around that athlete’s neck knowing they gave 110% of what they can do,” commented Scott. “They fight just as much as a professional athlete, professional firefighter, or anything else, these athletes love what they do. You’ll never have a more gratifying moment than to see the smiles on the athletes’ faces and they don’t forget you, each year you keep coming back and they know you, matter of fact they look for you,” Scott said with a smile.

Scott knows first-hand what it’s like to fight through daily hurdles in life. He views his volunteer work with Special Olympics as an honor. And he doesn’t foresee anything holding him back from volunteering for years to come.