Wednesday, September 03, 2014

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Veterans say holiday is about honoring past and present service members

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Veterans say holiday is about honoring past and present service members
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Our Sarah Blazonis stopped by the annual veterans parade and expo held at the State Fairgrounds and has more from veterans about who they're thanking this weekend.

GEDDES, N.Y. -- Community members came out by the thousands to honor those marching in the CNY Veterans Parade. For those they saluted, this weekend's holiday holds special significance.

"My fiance was killed in Iraq, so I think about him," said Jamie McGill, an Air Force Veteran.

"I saw more action than I could take, really," said Army Veteran James Adams, who served in the Vietnam War. "I saw a lot of my comrades get shot and die."

Members of the town of Manlius VFW say also in their thoughts are the men and women serving today.

"I remember what I went through, and it was like when I was over there, I never really thought about other people thinking about me. I just wanted to get home to my family," said Adams.

"It's a neighbor, it's a friend, it's a family member. So everyone knows at least somebody that's in the military who's probably been deployed," said Michael LaNasa, a retired Army lieutenant colonel and one of the parade's organizers.

Saturday's parade and expo offered people ways to both show support and say thanks.

One of the easiest ways to say thank you is by spreading a little holiday cheer. People could stop by the Red Cross booth and pick up a holiday card and fill it out with their own message to the armed forces. Veterans say it's little gestures like that, that can mean so much.

"The thoughts and the prayers, and when we see the little kids along the parade route and we see the families out supporting us, that means more to us. They're the reason why we're out there doing what we do," said McGill.

That encouragement is what many plan to pass on to their fellow veterans throughout the weekend. For more information about the Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes program, visit www.redcross.org.

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