Carder an advocate for military veterans

Published 8:58 am Monday, September 17, 2018

By DAISY WASHINGTON / Community Columnist

Ninety-six years have birthed a lot of good memories for Alfred B. Carder. Memories that conjure up vivid images of events from over the past nine decades.

One such memory is of his career as a volunteer carpenter for Carpenters for Christ (CC). The organization builds churches free of charge. Dozens of volunteers work on a building project at one time, completing the building from the ground up in about two weeks. Along with his grandson Adam, the retired Alabama Power Maintenance Foreman assisted the CC Team working projects throughout the eastern part of the country.

Alfred B. Carder is active in his community, particularly in philanthropic efforts for military veterans. (Contributed)

Carder spent three years in the U.S. Army as an Aviation Engineer during World War II.

He is especially interested in the wellbeing of those who have served in the military.

He has been a mentor with the Veterans Treatment Center for the past four years.

“If we can help somebody, we do,” he said. The program aids veteran defendants charged with misdemeanor and non-violent criminal offenses.

As a token for his service and dedication to the Veterans Court, Navy Admiral Jack Natters presented him with a medallion in 2016 and he was awarded the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve’s Seven Seals Award.

The Tilton, Georgia native recalls with special fondness his time with the Shelby County Water Festival, where he volunteered to assist wounded veterans in swimming activities at the local lake.

He was the Grand Marshal in the 2016 Harpersville Veterans Parade.

Still active as a deacon at Wilsonville Baptist Church where he has been a member since 1960, he has also been a member of the Wilsonville Civitan for more than 50 years and has received numerous citations and awards for his involvement and support of its community events and projects.

The Civitan Club financed grounds for the Little League Baseball Field and the original cafeteria of Wilsonville Elementary School.

“When I get to where I can’t help somebody, you might as well go ahead and plant me,” Carder said.

A widow for the past 10 years, he was married to his high school sweetheart, Gladys, for 63 years.

When he isn’t busy helping in the community, this father of two, grandfather of five and great-grandfather of nine can be found relaxing in the home he built in his quiet Wilsonville neighborhood.

He plants his vegetable garden every year, plays golf occasionally and likes to make his “mean” Jalapeno pepper coleslaw.