Five veterans of America's military teamed up to coordinate their town's Fourth of July celebration.
Andy, an Army veteran, volunteered to coordinate the event's publicity in the community's media: Radio and TV stations, and newspapers, as well as over the Internet.
Arlene, who had served in the Air Force for 10 years, volunteered to judge the parade's float entries. "This is my cup of tea," she said.
Maxwell, who had retired from the Marines after 20 years of service, was selected to oversee all of the event's operations. "Great," he said. "I feel very comfortable in such leadership roles."
A nurse, Norma had served in the Navy during the Vietnam Conflict. "I'll coordinate getting some first aid kits together and asking a few local nurses to help out during the parade in case anyone needs medical attention," she said.
Christy had just concluded a tour of duty in the Coast Guard. "I'll line up some off-duty police officers to provide security for the parade," she said.
Local church choirs and youth bands provided music for the extravaganza.
Everyone was filled with such a sense of patriotism that many parade-goers wept openly. Arthur had to have an arm amputated after being wounded in Afghanistan. "America is such a great nation," he said. "I just have to weep."
Amanda, who had written a book about her lengthy Air Force Career, bawled like a baby. "Without the blessings and grace of Almighty God and the blood shed by our brave troops, the United States of America would not even exist," she said.
Monty, a former Marine drill sergeant, sobbed as he recalled a close friend being shot during combat in Iraq. "He took a bullet that had my name on it," Monty said.
Norman learned to cook while serving in the Navy. He had gone on to open a restaurant chain with eateries in more than 15 states. "I joined the Navy to see the world," he said. "I did see the world, but another world, the culinary arts was opened to me."
Norman cried as he recalled that one of his best friends, who had served as a Navy pilot, was shot down and killed during the Vietnam Conflict. "He paid the ultimate price," Norman wept.
Andy's dad, Andrew, who had served as an Army chaplain during World War II, was the parade's grand marshal. After the parade, Andy told his father, "You've always been my hero, Dad. What was your secret to such a successful military career?"
"Well, Son, before I enlisted in the military, I gave my heart to the Lord Jesus Christ," Andrew said. "All the battles of my life, as well as during my military career, were really fought by Jesus, and He gave the victory to me in all of them!"
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