A different year, a different way to celebrate Veteran's Day

A different year, a different way to celebrate Veteran's Day

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Instead of its usual parade, the city of Montgomery held a Veteran's Day Celebration at Riverwalk stadium on Friday.

The family-friendly event featured a dozen historic military vehicles, a performance by the 151st Army Band, and over 35 military vendors.

The celebration honored veterans who have served, who are currently serving, who lost their lives while serving, and those who will serve, like La'Donte Lee who is a part of Lanier High School's Junior ROTC program.

"I feel like since people have put their lives on the line then I want to do the same. I want to serve for my country," said Lee.

Jessie Griffin served in Vietnam from 1969 to 1979. He joined the Armed Forces when he was 18 because "it was the right thing to do."

"I got wounded over there. But, Vietnam was… it was something else," said Griffin.

At just 19, Alvin Edwards joined the Marines, serving in Vietnam.

"If people say they didn't cry at night or thank God for staying alive, they're not human because we did. There were a lot of nights where we just sat there and thought about home," said Edwards.

However, when Edwards returned home, he didn't get a warm welcome.

"It wasn't a good experience when I came home," said Edwards.

Griffin didn't have a good experience either.

"Everybody forgot about us," said Griffin.

They say now times have changed and that they are finally getting recognized for their service.

"Everybody's welcomed us home now which we never got before," said Edwards.

Leonard Shults and Tom Hollingsworth both served in the Navy. Even though they didn't serve at the same time, their paths crossed in 2004, and they quickly became friends.

"We're friends yes. Shipmates," said Shults.

Even though they don't get to see each other as often as they'd like, it's safe to say they're friends with a unique bond.

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