CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -
The Fourth of July is often celebrated with firework displays, grilling out with family and friends, maybe a trip to the beach.
These are all things that we do freely.
What is often overlooked is why we are able to do these things.
George Maynard served more than twenty years in the U.S. Army and Air Force. He served in the Korean and Vietnam wars as well as Operation Plumb Bob.
"It was the most controversial nuke test in the continental U.S. If I had a do-over, I'd do it all again," Maynard said.
Retired 1st Sergeant Richard Schramm served in the U.S. Army for 25 years, deploying multiple times during the Vietnam War.
"I saw a lot of action through three tours in the infantry there. Saw people wounded, luckily only a few of my people were killed but we inflicted losses on the Vietnamese," Schramm recounted.
Both veterans believe the Fourth of July has a deeper meaning.
It's about celebrating the veterans who have protected the United States since 1776.
"We need to take our hats off to them, thank them in many ways, pray for them, and help them," Schramm said.
"The people who fought for the freedoms of our nation," Maynard said. "Celebrate your freedom. Your freedom of church, freedom of the state, freedom of the nation."
They are especially thankful for the men and women who gave their lives for the safety of ours.
"We have too many cemeteries in our nation and a lot of veterans that didn't make it back," Maynard said.
"We have many Americans who have given the supreme sacrifice...their lives," Schramm said.
They also gave thanks for those who are currently active duty military members, especially those that are deployed overseas today.
"I pray that they get back safely," Maynard said.
Schramm encourages all veterans and active duty military members to join their local VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars).
There are 12 different locations throughout the Lowcountry.
Charleston also offers veteran assistance at the Ralph H. Johnson Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
For more information, you can call 888-878-6884 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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