Family Freedom Fest held in Port St. Joe

Local News

PORT ST. JOE, Fla. (WMBB) — The city of Port St. Joe honored veterans in a special way Sunday afternoon by hosting their first ever Family Freedom Fest.

The festival was held to honor those who currently serve, along with retired military members.

At Beacon Hill Veterans Park they offered activities for the whole family to enjoy. Including booths set up with different information for veterans, as well as family activities including face painting and live music.

President of the VFW Auxiliary and Military spouse, Roni Coppock, says military families make up a large portion of their area, which makes the celebration even more special to them.

“It’s important because our veterans are important. I’m a military spouse myself, Gulf County has a little over 10% veterans in this county. We really look to support them and Tyndall Air Force Base,” said Coppock.

It was a day full of fun-filled activities for veterans and their families along with community supporters.

“They sacrificed so much for us and this is just our way of saying thank you,” said Coppock.

The festivities started with a special ceremony for veterans in attendance.

Treasurer for the VFW Auxiliary, Betty Arendt, says this event is great for the community to recognize those who put their lives on the line for complete strangers.

“I don’t think that we can do enough for our veterans, and we hope that everyone will remember the sacrifices they have made. It’s one thing to say I would die for my country, it’s another to put on that uniform and actually put your life on the line,” said Betty Arendt.

Retired Veterans like Butch Arendt, say they are grateful for the support from the community.

“Everyone needs to know that the freedoms they have today isn’t free. They need to share their thankfulness with the soldiers that were out there,” said Butch Arendt.

VFW staff say the ceremony is not only helping the community but also getting military spouses together to celebrate an early Veterans Day.

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