Fifth annual Vettes for Vets Parade
A local car club decided to celebrate our nation’s birthday with some veterans! Gulfport is home to the only Armed Forces Retirement Home outside of Washington, D.C. and the Gulfport Corvette Club brought a Fourth of July celebration right to their doorstep.
For some, the Fourth of July is a day to relax and hang out by the pool, but to others, it’s a time to give back and celebrate those who helped make this country what it is today. Events Coordinator Tom Bocek said, “We owe that all, all that freedom, to our veterans. Some gave all, all gave some.”
The Gulf Coast is home to a high number of veterans due in part to the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Gulfport.
Knowing that some of those veterans may have a tough time celebrating the Fourth, Tom Bocek and the Gulf Coast Corvette Club wanted to bring the fun to them. “People who own Corvettes are kind of free in nature if you will. We enjoy a little bit of horsepower, a little bit of freedom. We want to bring that freedom of spirit and thank you to the veterans in the Armed Forces Retirement Home.”
A parade of over 25 Corvettes made their way through the property to show the veterans a good time. Navy Veteran George Loftus said, “Even going around the circle here, you can see the look on some of these folks faces that don’t get out, that can’t get out much. You see how happy that makes them and it is worth it.”
A 21 year veteran and retirement home resident himself, Loftus looks forward to the Fourth every year. “I think it’s awesome. I really do. They take time out of their lives to come here and make lives a little happier for the folks here. You can’t ask for anything more than that.”
After the parade, club members even adopted a veteran for lunch, buying their meal and taking some time to visit with them.