Prattville Christian Academy student delivers on promise

Posted by Bryan Henry  -  bio | email

PRATTVILLE, AL (WSFA) - On the third floor of the VA Hospital in Montgomery Jonathan Banks made it 11 years in a row, 11 years of handing out Valentine's cards, a hand-shake and a simple 'thank you' to war veterans.

"This is to recognize the veterans for their service," said Banks who is all of 17-years old and a senior at Prattville Christian Academy.

You may recall in our previous Making A Difference story last week when Banks talked about the inspiration behind the gesture.

It was Dwaine McGriff, a former neighbor and a Vietnam veteran. McGriff died in 1999.

"He changed me and showed me a lot of love before he passed away. It made me want to share that love back to veterans," said Banks.

"Happy Valentine's Day, sir," Banks said to one of the veterans hospitalized at the VA.

One patient seemed to be enjoying the attention from Banks and from some of the other students from different schools delivering goodies as well.

James Riley on the other hand was moved by Jonathan's personal touch, a powerful touch considering Riley says he doesn't have any family members in town to come see him.

"This made my day. It made me feel like I am somebody," said Riley.

"It makes me value freedom a lot more. Often times you don't actually see the people who had to fight for freedom," said Banks.

From one room to another, Jonathan Banks made his deliveries and realized along the way just how much this has changed him.

"I would be a lot more sheltered than I am now," Banks said.

Jonathan Banks delivered more than a few bags of cards and gifts. He gave out a healthy dose of kindness, good medicine for the war veterans.

What about the future?

Banks is off to UAB next fall and may not have time to continue the tradition but says his niece has expressed an interest in taking over.

Email Bryan Henry at if you know of someone who is making a difference in their community.

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