GAUTIER, Miss. (WLOX) – The cheers at Gautier High School weren’t for the football team to victory, they were for the 300 veterans as part of the 23rd annual Veterans Breakfast.
These real-life heroes have already won their battles.
“This is better than Christmas morning to me,” said organizer Susie Bounds.
“They need to understand that we value them, that we thank them for their service,” she said. “And, frankly, not just the veterans, but their families as well.”
Among them was 100-year-old Mary Cheek, whose husband served in the Navy for 20 years.
“Oh, he’d be thrilled I was here,” she said. “And I’m excited to be here.”
And Cheek is impressed with the number of young people involved.
“Oh, I think it’s wonderful. I have been coming for years,” she said. “I am a retired teacher from the Pascagoula School District. So I love every single one of them.”
This includes student Quincy Roberts who helped organize the event.
“It’s so important to me to be able to celebrate these veterans, especially not doing this event the last two years at Gautier High School,” he said. “And just making sure we can go all out this year and make them all feel welcome and appreciated.”
And they did.
“I’m glad to see all the young people here,” said Leonard Fuller, an Army veteran who was involved in the Berlin Airlift. “This is the main thing. I love seeing all the young people.
It’s special for James Fisher, an Army veteran who served in Vietnam.
“It means a lot because when I came back from Vietnam, we didn’t get to know each other like we should have. This has been an experience and I am grateful to be able to be here today.”
Allen Kruger was one of eight brothers who served.
“I always told people that when I was going right out of high school, I was too lazy to work and too nervous to steal,” he said with a laugh. “So I stayed there for 20 years.”
But joking aside, he appreciated all the thanks.
“Oh, it’s wonderful,” he said. “Great to see all the patriotism going on.”
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