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Team Buckley helps celebrate Veteran’s Salute Day

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Team Buckley's service members along with members from the City of Aurora, came together at the Wings over the Rockies Air and Space Museum to celebrate Aurora Veterans Salute Day Nov. 2.

The 17th annual Veterans Salute was hosted by the City of Aurora. It first started at the Aurora center for active adults, formerly the senior center, which has hosted it since.

"When it started 17 years ago, it was very small," said Sheila Anthony, Aurora Parks, Recreation and Open Space Senior Recreation specialist. "We had probably about 100 guests. It was very simple, and it grew. Now, it's a sell-out event."

"We had more than 875 people registered to attend this event," said Anthony. "With the sponsors and volunteers added, the number of people on site was more than 1,000."

"The purpose of this event is to show the veterans that live in Aurora and around the metro area how much we appreciate their service and sacrifice," said Sherri-Jo Stowell, Aurora Parks, Recreation and Open Space marketing specialist. "Vietnam veterans need to be honored just as much as the World War I and World War II veterans."

"So, today, we are taking the time to honor the Vietnam-era veterans," said Stowell, "because most of the veterans of the Vietnam War were not welcomed home properly years ago. This is an opportunity for us to show them the respect that they were due when they came home."

The event had many different activities for veterans to participate in.

"When veterans first arrived they had the chance to talk with some of the vendors who serve veterans on many different levels, such as veteran group homes, senior care coordinators and senior publication organizations that write a lot of stories on veterans and their families," said Stowell.

The veterans were then seated for a formal program and lunch, served by Carrabas. They also got to enjoy music, patriotic tributes, the color guard, and a precision drill team.

At the event, there were more than 175 veterans that attended, and over 40 sponsors that helped make this event possible by donating resources and monetary donations totaling more than $30,000.

"Having the opportunity to coordinate this event was really a privilege," said Anthony. "As this event has grown, the amount of time and energy I have spent with it has also grown, but I feel that as long as you're doing something you love, you never work a day in your life. It's a labor of love."
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