Members of our community came out Saturday to show their support for America’s home-grown heroes.
American flags lined the road up to the Zanesville Municipal Airport. Inside the airplane hanger was members of the military and their families. The American Red Cross sponsored the 2nd Annual Free Military Family Fest and it was open to anyone in the community. Master Sergeant Betsy Brocklehurst says this show of community support is overwhelming.
"It is such a good feeling because being deployed you don’t get to see this, you don’t get to see the hometown support, your not here everyday, you have people tell you that through emails, letters, phone calls, but you don’t get to see it. So seeing all this local support is fantastic, makes it all worth while," tells Master Sergeant Brocklehurst of the Air National Guard.
Master Sergeant Brocklehurst is a mother of three young boys and grew up in Crooksville. She says that though she loves serving her country it is hard to be away from her family.
"When I first went in, I was not married and did not have any children. I have taken those steps now after 17 years and its definitely changed my perspective a lot, I definitely make decisions differently than I did 17 years ago, so it is absolutely hard," says Master Sgt. Brocklehurst.
Her story is felt by many in attendance. While some have family members overseas, others came to thank these soldiers for their service.
"The sacrifice our troops are making right now in both Iraq and Afghanistan is enormous more than I can even put into words, Having been to Afghanistan in the last couple of months and seeing first hand what these young men and women are doing under very difficult circumstances and behaving with valor and bravery and courage, it makes you very proud to be an American," says Congressman Zack Space.
Organizers say they put this event together to show members of the military and their families they are not forgotten and the community will take care of military families while loved ones are overseas. Near the close of Saturday’s event a tribute was held for all the fallen soldiers from our area in the last five years.