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Flag ceremony held for traveling veterans visiting Carthage, MO - KOAM TV 7

Flag ceremony held for traveling veterans visiting Carthage, MO

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CARTHAGE, MISSOURI - A traveling group of veterans makes a stop in Carthage, MO this week.

Today, a special flag ceremony was held in their honor.

Army veteran Sherwin Stielow says his 440-mile trip to Carthage is, no doubt, worth the drive.

He is one of more than 30 veterans camping out at Coachlight RV Park this week.

"We're the air force, the navy, the army, coast guard and a few marines," Stielow said.

The veterans are members of local chapters of the Special Military Active Retired Travel club, known as S.M.A.R.T.

With on average eight trips per year, they travel across the state to spread support for veterans, and to enjoy each other's company.

"It's the comradery, just of being around veterans and talking to other veterans about what they have accomplished," Stielow said.

In a formal flag ceremony, group members reminisce of their days in active duty.

As the flag of each branch of military was presented, a portion of that service's hymn was also played.

"It brings back the memories of our service times in our particular branch of service, and the patriotism that we felt then and still feel today," said Art Rash, coordinator.

"A lot of these gentlemen served during the Vietnam era, and maybe came home to a nation that didn't really show its gratitude the way we should have," said Mike Blackstone, manager of Coachlight RV Park. "This is an excellent opportunity for us to say we are grateful. We are thankful for your sacrifice and your service."

That message displayed left many feeling proud to have served this country.

"It makes me feel very patriotic, in knowing how many of our service people have paid the ultimate price," Stielow said.

Cadets from a high school in Branson, MO also assisted in today's ceremony.

The veterans will next head to Cameron, Missouri next month.
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