2nd annual Rose City Airfest begins with pilot reception honoring veterans

Major General Paul Landers, USAF, is presented with a flag that flew over the U.S. Capitol.
Major General Paul Landers, USAF, is presented with a flag that flew over the U.S. Capitol.(KLTV/Austin Sandy)
Published: Jul. 1, 2022 at 12:10 AM CDT

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Rose City Airfest will be held at Tyler Pounds Regional Airport Friday, just in time for the Independence Day weekend. Before the festivities kick off, though, there was a pilot reception on Thursday to honor veterans.

Pilots, veterans, local officials, media, performers and event organizers gathered for the reception.

Honorees included PFC James Krodel, who was in WW2 and served at Iwo Jima, as well as Ret. Air Force General Paul Landers.

Neil Franklin presented a commissioners court resolution for Paul Landers. He also noted that the success of Camp V has allowed the county the opportunity to move their Veteran Service Organizations to Camp V.

Camp V hosts Airfest to recognize veterans and raise money to help them.

“Camp V is an exceptional facility that is becoming a model for other veteran organizations,” Landers said in an interview Wednesday with East Texas Now. “Susan Campbell and her team, all the sponsors, and the generous people of East Texas have created a hub for veterans to connect with each other, to receive assistance, guidance, or counseling for all their needs, and that’s an important thing.”

Tyler Mayor Don warren spoke, thanking Camp V for what they do.

“I heard about this vision and I heard about what they wanted to do....it has blown my mind how quick they’ve done it,” he said. “You get into the community and you’ve filled a gap we had in the city. We did not have a resource for local veterans.”

He then talked about how important July 4th is to veterans and our local families and how it brings communities together.

Camp V Executive Director Travis Gladwell said that, “Tyler was found to have the second most veterans in the entire state...but ranked second in veteran homelessness. They (the co-founders) created a one stop resource center,” to help those veterans.

Their first year they serviced 309 veterans per year. In 2022 they service over 340 veterans a month. This is due to partnerships in the community and events like the airshow, Travis said.

According to the Rose City Airfest website, parking at the event will open at 1 p.m., and the gates will open at 2 p.m. The aircraft exhibit will be open from 2 to 5 p.m. The airshow will kick off at 6 p.m.

The 2022 Rose City Airfest will feature an A-10 Warthog Thunderbolt II, a B-29 Superfortress, a P-51 Mustang, the AeroShell Aerobatic Team, a B-25 Devil Dog, an O-1 Bir Dog, a Mig-17, a T-30 Shooting Star, a C-130 Hercules, and other aircraft.

For more information on the Rose City Airfest, click here.

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