Military Day at Kings Dominion attracts thousands of people - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Military Day at Kings Dominion attracts thousands of people

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

Independence Day is also a time to remember those who have sacrificed for our country.  Kings Dominion is honoring our active and retired military personnel by giving them a free admission ticket.

The rides are packed and dozens of American flags flying high at the amusement park.  Next stop for Sergeant Dontae Skywalker and his family is the water park but the holidays here are definitely beat the deserts of Iraq.

"You spend Christmas downrange and you're around nothing but sand," says Sgt. Skywalker.  "To actually be on home turf on soil and be able to celebrate with those you grew up with and those you love, it's a priceless memory."

He was deployed to Iraq for two years and has stood guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. "Even though I'm celebrated on this day, I celebrate those who came before me," he said.

Sergeant Skywalker is one of thousands of military personnel enjoying a free admission ticket to the park.  An extra bonus is having their families with them.  But some are still hundreds of miles from their loved ones.  Some soldiers spent the day with their company from Fort Lee.

"For me it's just an honor to have these guys to hang out with be side by side so I know they'll have my back here, they'll have my back overseas, down range," says Pvt. 1st Class Damone Fields, U.S. Army.

Some are humbled to be called heroes.

"I mean honestly I don't feel like a hero I just feel like I'm doing my part," says Pvt. 1st Class Dexter Derouen, U.S. Army.

There was a sense of camaraderie in the crowd.  Veterans shook hands with those who are still active.  And children got a chance to show their pride for the red, white and blue. 

"We wear the same uniform, we wear the flag on our shoulders proud and brave, we're going to run towards the fight and not ever run away," says Pvt. 1st Class Derouen.

Many people are looking forward to the fireworks show at Kings Dominion.  It starts at 9:55 p.m.  Military Day continues at Kings Dominion on Saturday.  Military personnel

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