Robin Roberts gives emotional speech to Veteran Service Officers - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Robin Roberts gives emotional speech to Veteran Service Officers

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BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

Hometown star Robin Roberts was in South Mississippi this weekend for a very special conference regarding something she holds very dear to her heart: veterans.

The Good Morning America star glowed as she shared very special memories of her father, who was a veteran, with a crowd who does so much to help our country's heroes.

"I am a proud Air Force brat," Roberts said. "My father was actually a veteran of three wars beginning with World War II as one of the renowned pilots of the Tuskegee Airmen."

With tears in her eyes Roberts said, "My father, who is now buried in the National Cemetery, would go back to Keesler after the military because he retired as a colonel. And as a colonel, they have to salute them when they walk into the gate. And he didn't even have any business on Keesler, but he wanted to salute."

Saturday, Roberts gave her father and the National Association of County Veterans Service Officers advocates a big salute by sharing her time and memories.

"I remember having to move off of Keesler when my father went to Vietnam, and that was the first time I saw my dad cry. He was wearing those aviator glasses and was at a local air strip and he was leaving, and it was very difficult for him because he wanted to make sure that we would be okay," Roberts explained.

"And that's what you are doing, you are making sure that these men and women who put their lives, literally, on the line for us and make such great sacrifices. And not only thinking of them, but their families. And you are giving them great comfort in knowing you are here for them," Roberts said.

When she was contacted by the group three years ago, she said she graciously accepted the invitation and honor of being the guest speaker.

"As I have done before in speaking volumes every time I can about the beautiful Gulf Coast where I can, I will do the same for this organization too. I have to tell you, you must realize, what you are doing is making a difference to us all," Roberts said. "I just have to say God bless us all and God bless the United States of America."

Copyright 2011 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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