Mark Mix found himself surrounded by veterans many years older than him. But he was the special guest recognized at the annual Jones Park ceremony. On this Veterans Day, Mix says his thoughts are with his Seabee buddies still in Iraq.
"I would rather be over there with them right now instead of sitting here. My injuries are nothing compared to some things that happened over there."
The Gulfport Seabee was injured in Iraq in June, 2003 when a wood frame he was building for a tent collapsed on him. He underwent four back surgeries and is now paralyzed from the waist down.
The men who fought wars of the past say Mix and those fighting today should be remembered too on this special day.
Ronnie Gaither, an Air Force Veteran says, "I think they're doing a great wonderful job over there."
Congressman Gene Taylor told the former service members their health care doesn't always get the attention he says it deserves, and that taking care of our country's military should be a top government responsibility.
"Visiting our wounded service people from Iraq at Walter Reed, I saw first hand the toll it takes on one person. These men and women were there for our country. Many of them will never be the same, and their country must now be there for them," the Congressman says.