HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - With all the Fourth of July fun, many South Mississippians are sending messages of thanks to our military overseas fighting to protect our freedom.
Gulfport resident Tea Do said he wakes up early every Fourth of July to stake out the perfect spot at Fort Maurepas.
"I come here early to get a spot under the pavilion. I don't like the sun, but the fireworks at 9 here, it's amazing to see it," Do said.
He said he works hard all year and appreciates that our military does the same for us.
"Nothing's free. The freedom you get to experience today, it's paid for by other people."
Latimer resident Debbie Dunlap echoes that sentiment saying her gratitude for the military runs deep.
"I appreciate everything they do," Dunlap said. "I'm a military child, I grew up in the military. My Dad's retired 35 years, and my oldest son is a retired Marine also."
She said she understands first-hand what many military families feel when missing and worrying about their loved ones.
"This just means a lot to me because our military gives everything - time, sweat, time away from their families. Their families have to take up the reigns when they're not around," Dunlap said.
Biloxi resident Harry Mark Gonsoulin also give thanks for our military and their sacrifices, on what is for him, a beautiful and relaxing Independence Day.
"I appreciate what they're doing for our country, with all the stuff going on today," Gonsoulin said. "I hope they have a good Fourth, with comrades and buddies, because they aren't with their families this year."
One business showing appreciation for our military is Winn Dixie, through the Hope for Warriors campaign. All profits from sales made on July 4th will be donated to help veterans and their families.