Wednesday evening, a motorcade stretching nine-miles long wound its way from DFW Airport to Gainesville, Texas. As it passed through Denton; police, fire and everyday citizens lined up on an overpass and along I-35 to welcome the veterans to North Texas.
"You can't go anywhere else in the U.S. and find that except here in Gainesville, Texas in April," said Vietnam Veteran Roy Brewer. "They have a phrase up there, 'it's what we do.'"
What Gainesville has done since 2001 is honor Medal of Honor recipients with its Medal of Honor Host City Program. The multi-day event includes a welcome dinner, parade, book signings, and more.
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"They sacrificed a lot for us," said volunteer Wayne Leck. "We want to make sure it's time for them to enjoy, do everything we can to make them comfortable, and welcome them to Texas."
On Wednesday afternoon, volunteers were getting Gainesville's Liberty Hall ready with fresh paint, clean windows, and meat in the smoker for the welcome dinner.
"It's our privilege just to serve these guys. I don't know how to explain it, but once you step into it, you'll know what I'm talking about," said volunteer Mike Merolla. "It is what we do."
23 Medal of Honor recipients arrived in Gainesville Wednesday. One is from WWII, two were in the Korean War, and the remaining served in Vietnam.