Lakeside

July 4th Celebration to Honor Veterans

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This coming weekend we celebrate our freedom as a country. In so doing we also celebrate those who granted us our freedom through their military service. Each year the American Veterans Tribute Organization (AVT) honors our veterans with a significant 4th of July celebration on the Saturday of each Independence holiday weekend. 

I am a board member and am a part of our AVT Band. This event is filled with patriotism and celebration. We choose a veteran and grant them awards, feature their own flag flown in by paratroopers, honor them with a military F18 flyby, perform a 21 gun salute, an extensive fireworks show, and pay tribute to their service all throughout the day. 

This year’s honoree is Captain Ronald E. Dowdy, who was a pilot during the Vietnam war. He flew over 250 missions there and faced the same fate as many of our veterans who served there, which was less than popular when they returned. Yet, he was resilient to be a contributor to society as a successful businessman, a philanthropist, and has his own beef farm in Farmville, Virginia. We are pleased to have Ron be our honoree since he has been a part of all of our celebrations at AVT. 

If you want to join our celebration, go to americanveteranstribute.org and join the celebration at 4:00 p.m., Saturday, July 1st on YouTube. The whole event will be patriotic and enjoyable as we invite thousands of individuals to join us on beautiful Lake Gaston for a unique event. In attendance, in boats and on land, will be over 10,000 individuals, all there for a great day of celebration!

I also have written what I have entitled Beyond the Field of Battle, which represents the journey of a veteran and some of the trauma they experience once they have completed their tour of duty. It reflects many conversations I have had with veterans with some compelling realities that they face for the rest of their lives as a result of their service.

I hope you will tune in and celebrate our veterans with us. It will be a great day and a special way to spend a weekend that celebrates our independence!

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