Homage to Veterans, Amidst July 4th Revelry
July 4th is America’s Independence day.People gather for barbeques, parties and celebrate their freedom, in this land of opportunity. But it took the sacrifices of many, to make the American dream a reality. We talk to veterans, who sacrificed, so that all of us can live without fear...
Ryan Stack, an Iraq war veteran recollects, "I remember where I was on 4th of July. I was in Ballad in Iraq, it was a horrible sandstorm. It turns everything like mars."
Army veteran,Stack dedicated four years to the military.
He fought in the Iraq war for 13 months, where he faced 140-degree temperatures and life-threatening missions.
" I remember sitting there realizing that I want to appreciate this day more, than I ever have before. You hear the stories, you watch the movies. When you actually put the uniform on and serve, you don't take it for granted anymore,” reminisces Stack.
Stack, now works at the United War Veterans Council in Lower Manhattan. Where we also find Navy veteran Robert Skibar.
After serving two tours in the Vietnam war, Skibar says his meaning of independence day, has changed.
" If you asked me this question when I was 6 years old, Independence day was a time to watch fireworks. If you ask me as a teenager, I'd say it was a time to set off fireworks. If you ask me as an adult, as a military person, it's suddenly an appreciation for what we have."
Fellow Vietnam Vet Pat Gualtieri, is also appreciative, especially of those who fought for America's independence from Great Britain, in 1776.
Pat Gualtieri, says, "These guys saying if we don't stick together, we're going to hang together. That was Benjamin Franklin, he said that."
Gualtieri now serves as the Director at the United War Veterans Council, where he works to honor vets from all branches of the military.
"Imagine the nerve and the pride for wanting to fight for freedom," adds Gualtieri, choked with emotion.
In addition to organizing the Annual Veterans Day parade, the UWVC provides a place for vets to gather.
80-year-old Korean war vet, Eddie Bergendahl, is grateful for the services Gualtieri provides.And also grateful for our founding fathers.
"These people, farmers, merchants lawyers, from all over. They didn't have the number 7 subway or the 32 bus or the internet. They got the call to establish an independent nation, " says Bergendahl
So between the BBQs, the fireworks and the parade, we celebrate all troops on this Fourth.
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