Each year, the VFW selects an emergency services person, a law enforcement officer and a firefighter to receive the Louisiana State VFW Gold Medal.
Walker was honored with the 2012 VFW Outstanding Fireman of the Year award in the VFW's local division of Baker Post #4224.
Walker was also nominated to the State Veterans of Foreign Wars Department of Louisiana, of which he came in second place.
On Jan. 26, the VFW held a mid-winter conference and awards ceremony in Alexandria where Walker and others were honored by receiving plaques commemorating their outstanding achievements.
"The Zachary Fire Department is proud to have one of its own receive these two awards," Fire Chief Danny Kimble said of Walker's honors. "He has demonstrated an outstanding work ethic and unwavering positive attitude towards his fellow firefighters and citizens of the community."
Walker has been with the ZFD as a full-time career firefighter since 2006. At the age of 17, he joined the Army National Guard. "My decision to serve my country and become a firefighter was due to the tragedy that occurred on 9/11...a day no one in this country will ever forget," Walker says.
After joining the National Guard in 2004, he also became a Volunteer Firefighter for West Feliciana Fire Department.
Also in 2004, Walker completed basic training at Fort Knox, Ky., to become a 19D Calvary Scout (Reconnaissance). He was then deployed to Baghdad, Iraq, where he remained for more than a year. While there he conducted counter insurgency operations at Camp Justice.
In 2008, the State of Louisiana awarded him Soldier of the Year.
In 2009, he was deployed again to Baghdad, and his second time there he conducted protective services detail missions.
In January 2009, while with the West Feliciana FD, Walker received two life saves for pulling two people, both unconscious, out of a burning home.
Walker was awarded the Medal of Valor for his heroic and selfless actions. "He is a hero in the eyes of the people he saved and is a perfect example of courageousness and heroism firefighters display each day," fellow firefighters have said.
"The Zachary Fire Department is proud to have Justin Walker as a member of its organization," says Chief Kimble. "He has succeeded at serving both his country and the community of Zachary."