July Fourth More Than Just Fireworks, Say Veterans

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Battleship Park is one of those few places where you’re sure to run into veterans who have served all over the world.

“Yes ma’am, I served in Vietnam,” says James Todd.

“I’ve been to Korea, Kuwait, Iraq, where else, Germany,” says Phillip Bright.

“All over Afghanistan, all over the middle east, Haiti, I was even part of Hurricane Katrina when that happened,” says Robert Groszmann.

Most of the older veterans come here to remember, like James Todd.

“Now this is my crewman on the LCM-8 933 standing here, John Hewitt, and we hadn’t seen each other in 45 years. I come all the way up here from Vero Beach where I live now, come all the way up here just to see him. He knows things that I forgot and I know things that he forgot,” says Todd.

And something no one should forget is the sacrifice those like Todd made to keep us a free nation. So I wanted to know what July fourth means to them.

“It means a time of remembrance and regret,” says Todd.

“Freedom around the world, that we fight for, for this country here,” says Bright.

“Just recognizing the sacrifice that people made a long time ago so that we could have freedom, being free from England,” says Groszmann.

And they understand many may not remember that while out at the beaches or under the fireworks. But if you need reminding, there are few better people to talk to than Phillip Bright.

“We are the baby boomers, right, and we teach our kids the meaning of freedom around the world, and not only in this country but other countries too. We are the most powerful nation in the world, that’s what I enjoy about it, I love it!” says Bright.

So while you’re cooking out or jumping in the pool, remember not only those who came before, but those serving now to keep us free.

“Well, I think a lot of them think is fireworks and picnics, but it’s not, we’ve still got young people joining the service and defending our country. That’s the way it should be, anyway,” says Judy Yates.

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