East Texas Salute 2016

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East Texas Salute 2016:
Honoring the Patriot Guard Riders and Welcome Home Soldiers Groups

The American Freedom Museum will host its annual East Texas Salute honoring the Patriot Guard Riders and Welcome Home Soldiers groups from all over East Texas, on Saturday, May 14th, from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. The event will be held on the grounds of the American Freedom Museum and The Brook Hill School.

The men and women of the Patriot Guard Riders and Welcome Home Soldiers organizations honor and pay tribute to our fallen heroes, active duty military men and women, their families and their communities. The Patriot Guard Riders mission is to attend the funeral services of fallen American heroes as invited guests of the family, to shield the mourning family and their friends from any interruptions by any outside groups, and to pay respect for those who risk their very lives for America’s freedom and security, including fallen military men and women, First responders, veterans and honorably discharged veterans. The Welcome Home Soldiers mission is to join together to give our East Texas area soldiers the hero’s welcome they deserve when they return to their communities, letting every military man and woman they welcome home know that their service for our country is appreciated and that many people here at home are proud of them and want to shake their hands and thank them for their service.

The salute and activities will run from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 14th. The American Freedom Museum, Traveling Vietnam Wall and Texas Veterans Classic Car Show (with over 130 classic cars), will be available for viewing, free of charge, beginning at 9:00 a.m. There will be a brief ceremony and World War II aircraft flyover at 11:00 a.m., honoring the Patriot Guard Riders and Welcome Home Soldiers, followed by a complimentary lunch served to all in attendance.

This admission free event, on Saturday, May 14th, will feature:

  • American Freedom Museum and Traveling Vietnam Wall, open from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • Texas Veterans Classic Car Show, open from 9:00a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Patriotic Choir Concert by The Brook Hill High School Choir at 9:30 a.m.
  • Patriot Guard Riders arrival at 10:00 a.m.
  • East Texas Men in Harmony performing at 10:30 a.m.
  • World War II Aircraft flyover at 11:00 a.m.
  • Brief Recognition Ceremony of the Patriot Guard Riders and Welcome Home Soldiers groups at 11:00 a.m.
  • Complimentary lunch served immediately following the ceremony at 12:00 p.m.
  • Military and First Responders vehicles and aircrafts, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • Texas Military Personnel, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • Children’s activities, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • Exhibitors and vendors, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Also, as part of The East Texas Salute 2016, the AVTT Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall will be displayed on the grounds of the American Freedom Museum on Friday, May 13th and Saturday May 14th. The 80% Replica Wall and Museum will be open on Friday, May 13th, from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., exclusively and free of charge for school field trips and self-guided Museum tours. Participating schools will be met by a Vietnam Veteran for a short briefing on the wall and what it means, and then students will be allowed to visit and touch the wall. Afterwards, students and teachers will have the opportunity to tour the American Freedom Museum on their own.

The American Freedom Museum’s mission is to Honor American veterans and military personnel for the sacrifices they have made to ensure the many freedoms we enjoy each day, to Educate this and future generations about our rich American heritage, and to Inspire others to achieve greatness in their lives as the men and women throughout our nation’s history have done.  One of the Museum’s goals each year is to provide opportunities and events for the citizens and students of East Texas to show their appreciation for the sacrifices of our military men and women, to acknowledge their courage and to show them the honor and support they have earned.

We are very excited about this annual event and hope that you and your family will be able to join us as we honor and thank the Patriot Guard Riders and Welcome Home Soldiers for all they do for our American heroes.

For more information please feel free to contact American Freedom Museum Director, Jan Hommel, at (903) 894-5252 or by email at jhommel@americanfreedommuseum.org.