Hundreds gather to say ‘thank you’ at Bay Pines Veterans Day ceremony

Local News

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — Hundreds attended the annual Bay Pines Veterans Day Ceremony in St. Petersburg to say, ‘Thank you for your service.’

Retired Army Sgt. Tony Anderson says the thank you is appreciated.

“Makes you feel good,” he said. “It’s one of those things where you fight for your country, and you’re sent over there and you’re doing what they tell you to do,” said Anderson, who describes his welcome after arriving home from Vietnam as less than a warm one. “It wasn’t very pleasant. We were spit on, so forth, You know a lot of the guys came back and had PTSD. Nobody knew what that was at the time.”

Retired Corporal Mike Delancey was the keynote speaker. He was paralyzed in Iraq and upon returning home, established the Wounded Warriors Abilities Ranch in Pinellas Park.

“And that’s the meaning of today. As the actual Veteran community, we are not done,” Delancey told the crowd. “Get back out in the community. Help the newer injured vets that are coming back and say hey, all of this stuff is out there. Lets get out and lets get active.”

Retired Major Miguel Reece also appreciates the thank you’s, but believes ‘thank you for the sacrifice,’ would be more appropriate. “My parents sacrificed, my grandparents sacrificed. They were worried to death about me. My spouse sacrificed – she changed jobs like nine times. My daughter went to nine schools in 12 years. She sacrificed. They all sacrificed. So that’s what this moment is all about to me, anyway.”

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April 24 2021 08:00 am

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