Celebrating National Armed Forces Week

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - "Every man and woman puts the uniform on for different reasons but we do it because there's a calling for our country and we want to serve," said Commanding Officer of Naval Support Academy Panama City Kevin Christianson.

Armed Forces Week is a way to recognize those in the military and what they do for our country.

"On a daily basis we lose soldiers every day, so it makes it feel like instead of just having Memorial Day or Veterans Day we have a whole week to honor the men and women that still serve," said Army Veteran Teddy Smith.

It's also a way to remember why the bases in Bay County are so important to our community.

"We do do a lot of support and port operations, we respond to oil spills and we do a big community thing for funeral and honors just for the community to give closure and honor our fellow veterans," said Operations Specialist, 2nd Class Jack Pescheltenzer.

"We respond 24/7/365 to search and rescue law enforcement missions," said Executive Petty Officer for the Coast Guard Station in Panama City Chief Eric Donovan.

The week gives veterans a chance to reminisce on their time in the military.

"I've got five brothers and I'm closer to my soldiers than I am my brothers. It's amazing, it's, it was the greatest time of my life," said Smith.

Veterans and active duty alike agree they are happy to be recognized for their hard work.

"Armed forces is important to us because it lets us know that the job that we're doing out in the community is appreciated by all those that are here in the local community area," said Chief Donovan.

"To have a week dedicated to us, it's heartwarming, it's humbling," said Smith.

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