BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Friday marked the celebration of retired veterans all across the Gulf Coast with a chance to honor those who once protected the nation's freedom.
"This is the one time of the year that we can really say thank you for the retirees, and those who have given up so much of their lives to defend this nation and to live it," Master Sgt. Edward Long.
Every year the celebration is held at Keesler Air Force Base, and gives veterans the chance reconnect with one another.
"Just to get all of us together in one location is good. I see those who've already served before me mixing in those who are serving now, so they can see what their future is looking like," said veteran Raymond Alexander.
Vietnam vet Aaron Lewis was in the crowd; happy to be around his band of brothers.
"It's so good to come here and meet all the co-workers and veterans, to see some familiar faces and new faces," said Lewis. "Keep up the good work, hats off to you."
There were also stations set up to help benefit retired veterans in a variety of ways.
"There's a lot of informational booths that are here available to the retirees, from Tri-care, mostly medical things but also recreational activities for the retirees and things that are going on on the base," said Master Sgt. Noel Ramirez.