Local veterans hold weekend event at Hugh MacRae Park

WILMINGTON -- It's the first event of its kind here in Wilmington. Local veterans spent Saturday at Hugh MacRae Park to get to know each other and share their stories. Bob Page was a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne and served in the military for 33 years. He had the opportunity to spend time with other local veterans at a get-together. Page said, "It's about people who believe in the country, the military and freedom." Page was one of about 150 people who gathered at Hugh MacRae Park to get to know other veterans and their families from the area. The event was sponsored by three organizations: Rolling Thunder, Disabled American Veterans and Vietnam Veterans of America. Rossie Nance with Vietnam Veterans of America said, "It's great, it's tremendous. This is the first ever getting people together so they can talk, socialize, and as I like to say, break bread together." The majority of the veterans at the event served in Vietnam. Many say an event like this is long overdue. Leroy Larkins is a Vietnam veteran from Maryland who just happens to be visiting family here. Larkins said, "We've been blessed to be back in the fellowship which is a great time to share different things or different experiences that we've had." Jeanie McQuain with Rolling Thunder said, "We have a lot of veterans in this country and they are not recognized so we are really, really pleased for this day." Organizers hope to make this an annual event to give veterans an outlet to reminisce about the past. Page said, "If I was 18 I'd do it again." There are about 23,000 veterans in Wilmington.

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