Dallas Arboretum Thanks Military on July Fourth

Servicemen from Sheppard Air Force Base visit Dallas

By Kimberly King
|  Monday, Jul 4, 2011  |  Updated 9:20 PM CDT
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A Dallas attraction gave thanks to members of the U.S. military with free admission on the Fourth of July.

Kimberly King, NBCDFW.com

A Dallas attraction gave thanks to members of the U.S. military with free admission on the Fourth of July.

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A Dallas attraction gave thanks to members of the U.S. military with free admission on the Fourth of July.

To show appreciation for their service, the Dallas Arboretum waived its normal $12 admission fee for military members.

Richard Luong and Roy Ocfemia drove two hours from Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls with two other buddies for a rare four-day weekend off base.

They planned to spend the Fourth of July seeing Dallas and visiting the Dallas Arboretum.

"This is actually pretty nice," Ocfemia said as they toured the park.

Luong, who is from Washington state and is training to be a weapons loader, said he was thinking of his fellow military servicemen.

"I have so much for respect for the military because of all the work they've done," he said.

"We fight for our freedom every day," Luong said. "I didn't have an appreciation for the military when I was a civilian, but now that I'm training, I realize how important they are and we are to our country."

Ocfemia, who is from California, is training to be a plane mechanic on heavy aircraft. He has been at Sheppard for three months.

Neither he nor Luong knows where they will be deployed after completing training in Texas, but both said they are looking forward to going abroad.

Temperatures soared Monday, but the arboretum was full of families enjoying the sights, including the Kehlers, who thanked Luong and Ocfemia for their service.

"I want to thank you guys for serving our country," said Tom Kehler, whose family was in Dallas to visit relatives.

He introduced his 6-year-old son, Nick, to the airmen. Nick said he had thanks for "the Army, the military and the Navy for serving us."

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