AUGUSTA, G.A. Servicemen and women, local and state leaders gathered in Augusta to honor the men and women who have served.

“People have a habit of saying ‘thank you for your service,’when they see a veteran. Try saying, ‘thank you for my freedom,’” Ret. Srgt. Major Douglas Hastings said.

Men and women who have served, are currently serving, or have family and friends who have gathered at the All-Wars Monument. 

“Our stories matter. They connect us with those who may serve. Today, on veterans’ day, I’m reminded of my first Veteran’s Day that I spent at home after serving in the initial invasion of operation Iraq,” Cyber Center of Excellence and Fort Eisenhower Major General Paul Stanton said.

Douglas Hastings is a Retired Sergeant who served 27 years on active duty and tells me veterans should be celebrated before and after November 11th. 

“Because everybody else’s day that they have is guaranteed by the service that Americans give. Every day there’s people out there on the line serving, and while we’re going on about our lives– doing whatever we do– someone out there is serving.” 

And those who still serve say Saturday morning’s ceremony was refreshing.

“It was a great ceremony. I think it was great to honor the veterans, there was a great amount of people here, and I really enjoyed it. To be able to hear their stories, I met a lot of great veterans from different services– from the Marines, Army, the Air Force. So, it’s a great honor to be here and help them celebrate…,” 25 uniform instructor at Fort Eisenhower Sergeant Williams said.

“May God bless you; may God bless the United States of America. Forge and project power and be all you can be. Thank you,” Cyber Center of Excellence and Fort Eisenhower Major General Paul Stanton said.