WAXAHACHIE — With the Texas House of Representatives out of office, State Representative John Wray took time to meet with two exceptional, local residents and an elementary class.

"One of the blessings of my day as state representative is the opportunity to meet remarkable people. This week, I had the honor of meeting two individuals from very different generations, who both live by the meaning of service to others,” said State Representative John Wray.

Wray first met with Charles Atchley, a United States Army veteran of Ellis County, who rendered outstanding service to his country during World War II. His efforts are indeed deserving of recognition.

This courageous soldier saw action in the pivotal Battle of the Bulge from December 1944 into January 1945 and took part in the subsequent capture of Colmar, France. The fighting took place in the midst of a bitterly cold winter, and Mr. Atchley suffered severe frostbite, which ultimately required him to be hospitalized. In recognition of his valiant actions, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and the Combat Infantry Badge, and he was presented with the French Legion of Honor in 2013. Moreover, he received a special tribute for his wartime service and his boxing achievements at the 82nd annual Dallas Golden Gloves regional tournament in January 2017. "We thank Mr. Atchley for his bravery and service to his country," Wray added.

The other resident Wray met with was Pete Garcia, a young man and Waxahachie High School senior, who is also serving the community.

Garcia recently received the rank of Eagle Scout through dedication, hard work, and service to others. He saw a need at his church and worked to build a wood Noah's Ark playground.

With the help of others at his church, the building phase took about two months in addition to many months of planning. Garcia aspires to attend Texas A&M University in the fall of 2018.

Wray remarked, "our community is thankful for his vision to give children a place to be safe and have fun."