Military Impacts Business

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David Henson
Walker Auto Sales
Wade Jones

It's not unusual to see one of NAS Meridian's naval aviators in training at Walker Auto Sales. Most of the pilots are young and looking for inexpensive transportation.

"Usually they come through and they pay cash, so it's very good for the economy of the car business," said salesman David Henson.

And it's very good for the economy as a whole in Meridian. NAS and the National Guard employ almost four thousand people between them, and pump more than $100 million a year in payroll into the economy.

If these bases were closed, many of those people and that money will be gone, but local economic development officials say Meridian will be able to make it.

"I think this community can come together an address any issue that it wants to," said Wade Jones, president of the East Mississippi Business Development Corporation.

The folks at Walker Auto say they are optimistic that no local base will be on the closure list, but Henson says if that's not the case, they would struggle.