Freedom Fighters: Walter "Tiny" Rains

Walter "Tiny" Rains is a frequent visitor at the Smith County Jail in Tyler. For the past 37 years, his jail ministry has brought comfort, encouragement, and the Word of God to the inmates there.

Before "Tiny," as everybody calls him, became a born again Christian in 1959, he would often wind up in jail himself, mainly because of his drinking bouts. Even as a teenager, Tiny was always looking for adventure. So, it was no surprise to anyone when he joined the Navy in 1945 during World War II. At 18 years of age, weighing only 97 pounds, 23 pounds under the minimum, he took five physicals before he was finally able to talk his way into the service. Aboard the U.S.S. Bergen, "Tiny" was part of the biggest armada ever assembled for invasion, in the Battle For Okinowa. As a ship gunner, Tiny stayed by his gun night and day, constantly battle.

Fighting for his country remains a highlight in Tiny's life. Tiny says he's "red, white, and blue all the way" and says he's very blessed to live in this country, this state, and this city. Through his jail ministry, Walter "Tiny" Rains wants to extend that

Joan Hallmark, reporting.