Gladewater hosts operation give gratitude - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Gladewater hosts operation give gratitude

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GLADEWATER, TX (KLTV) -

East Texans are honoring those who have served our country by raising money to help disabled veterans. This is the second year Operation Give Gratitude organized an all day event in Gladewater to show respect to veterans.

With a Patriot Guard riders drive through, hundreds gathered at the Gladewater rodeo grounds to give honor to veterans.

"Freedom isn't free. If you value your freedom, thank a vet. My father served in Vietnam my stepson served in Iraq, It's very close to home," says supporter Amy Burns.

The event will raise money for a camp dedicated to helping disabled veterans called Camp Patriot, the brain child of navy veteran Micah Clark.

"In 2004 when I came back from Afghanistan, I'd lost a couple of buddies and I wanted to create a program that was outdoor recreational therapy. A way to show them that they have abilities to live life and not look at the disabilities. The goal is to get this ranch in Montana and be able to bring 300-to-500 veterans a year through the program." Clark says.

"Camp Patriots' mission is to take United States disable veterans on outdoor adventures all generations from world war two forward." he says. For some the event was a long overdue recognition.

"You know after almost 50 years its nice to finally be appreciated , have people recognize what you did back then," says marine corps Vietnam veteran Frank Hajart.

For those who have given so much, it was a simple time to say thank you.

"We wouldn't live free without your service, and so we thank you from the bottom of our heart," Clark says.

Patriot Guard and Vietnam veterans of America also participated and supported in today's event. Last year's Operation Gratitude event raised 20-thousand dollars for disabled veterans.

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