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Salute to vets, armed services packed with patriotism at Freedom Blast

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Thursday, June 27, 2013

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Greer City Park is all dressed up with red, white and blue bunting for the Freedom Blast scheduled Saturday from 6-10:30 p.m.

Jim Fair

Greer City Park is all dressed up with red, white and blue bunting for the Freedom Blast scheduled Saturday from 6-10:30 p.m.



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A variety of military vehicles, Korean War vintage and forward, will be on display around City Park. The South Carolina National Guard will have its ropes course and climbing wall to challenge individuals.

A variety of military vehicles, Korean War vintage and forward, will be on display around City Park. The South Carolina National Guard will have its ropes course and climbing wall to challenge individuals.



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The Patriot Chopper, commissioned by the Army National Guard, has a dual purpose. It is a recruiting tool and the bikes can also convey important messages about safety.

The Patriot Chopper, commissioned by the Army National Guard, has a dual purpose. It is a recruiting tool and the bikes can also convey important messages about safety.

The most dramatic and poignant part of Saturday’s Freedom Blast will be the annual Veterans Walk and salute to the men and women of the U.S. Armed Services.

Freedom Blast is scheduled 6 – 10:15 p.m. with Greer Idol and Swingin’ Medallions providing the entertainment, a pie eating contest, family-friendly activities, food vendors, and a fireworks display will end the festivities following the salute to the Armed Forces.

The City of Greer will be doubling up with the military presence since that part of the Greer Family Fest was rained.

The South Carolina National Guard (SCNG) and Disabled Veterans Chapter 39 have made their personnel and equipment available.

“Preston Johnson, commander of DAV Chapter 39, and Sgt. Martin Bowen at the Greer National Guard Armory have been the key in bringing the tribute together,” said Steve Owens, City Communications Manager. “The tribute has grown with the support of those gentlemen.”

The SCNG Military Funeral Honors detail will carry the branch flags

“The transition to the fireworks will be emotional as well and the music during the fireworks will keep the theme of honoring our soldiers and veterans,” said Owens.

Ann Cunningham, Director of Parks and Recreation, has organized the military component of the celebration.

“I know many veterans were looking forward to the Walk at Family Fest and hope they will come out Saturday evening to participate,” Owens said. Recognizing our military and veterans has always been the mission of Freedom Blast and I really do think this tribute will set a new benchmark for the celebration.”

The schedule:

• Lt. Col. Mike Vail (Donaldson Center) will preside and offer comments saying “Thank You” to veterans and active duty service men and women.

• Rev. Keith Kelly will deliver the invocation.

• South Carolina National Guard Military Funeral Honors detail present the colors.

• National Anthem.

• Members of the DAV Chapter 39 in Greer will lead the Veterans Walk carrying the branch flags to all five service songs.

• Veterans walk from the amphitheater along the sidewalk and will assemble in the traffic circle at the flagpole while the service flags continue to the stage where they will be placed.

• Tribute to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to the country.

• Bagpiper Art Davis will perform Amazing Grace.

• The National Guard will present three rifle volleys.

• Taps ends the tribute.

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